Covid: Is Prime Minister Boris Johnson preparing to offer coronavirus vaccines to the EU?

On this lockdown anniversary, the prime minister’s mantra is that the surge in Covid-19 cases risks a new wave here.

While this may be true (though scientists tell me it is the South African variant gaining ground in France that is the only serious danger to us), it is not why he is saying it, according to those who work with him.

They say:

1. Boris Johnson is preparing the ground to slip the European Union (EU) a limited quantity of the vaccine the UK has contracted to buy.

2. He is trying to make the unpopular ban on holiday travel for the UK’s largely vaccinated population more palatable.

Would it be rational for Boris Johnson to offer to help the EU with its immediate vaccine shortage?


Because the EU’s unvaccinated susceptibility to Covid-19 is holding back its economic recovery - and therefore ours too.

And if the prime minister showed solidarity with the EU over vaccines, EU leaders might be more inclined to help the UK soften the Brexit border between GB and Northern Ireland - and drop its legal action.

Johnson’s chats with Merkel, Macron and the rest are a test of whether either side can show constructive flexibility as they establish their new long term political, diplomatic and economic relationship.

Listen to the Calling Peston podcast: