1/ The principle of 'reciprocity' of supply is at the heart of finding a solution to the UK-EU vaccines stand-off. But it's not a simple case of counting jabs export numbers. It's also about weighing each party's overall contribution to the development and production of vaccines.
2/ This is not only about finished vaccines, but also about international supply chains and the raw materials that go into them. Croda International, based in Yorkshire, provides lipid components for the Pfizer jab which is made here in Belgium, for example.
3/ And then there's the question of public funding towards the development of vaccines and scaling up of production. Should that count towards reciprocity? The UK contributed £88 million to getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab off the ground. Germany and the EU gave Pfizer funding.
4/ The EU Commission recognises this dynamic to reciprocity. A spokesman says: 'This has to be understood in the wide sense. This is not about "I give you one dose, you give me one dose". That would be a bit absurd. It's about the whole process of producing vaccines.'
5/ Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said the EU will carry out a 'comprehensive assessment of the overall situation of the supply of materials, of the investment' in a third country when determining whether the conditions for reciprocity have been met.
6/ All this suggests talks on the subject are now drilling down into the detail of what sort of overall balance is acceptable to all sides. And that gives some reason to believe the UK, the EU, and AstraZeneca may be able to together find a solution to avoid a full on export ban.

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More from @nickgutteridge

16 Mar
EMA boss Emer Cooke on AstraZeneca vaccine: 'At present there is no indication vaccination has caused these conditions. We’re still firmly convinced the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risk of side-effects.' Its evaluation into the jab's safety will conclude on Thursday.
EMA boss Emer Cooke: 'We are looking at adverse events associated with all vaccines. We have looked at the background rates for all the vaccines currently in circulation and it looks like there are similar numbers coming in across the world.'
EMA boss Emer Cooke: 'The decisions that are taken at a national level are being taken in the context of the information that’s available at national level, and it's the countries’ prerogative to do so. It’s our responsibility to focus on the science associated with these risks.'
Read 5 tweets
3 Mar
1/ So, just two months into the new UK-EU relationship we've already reached the point where the two sides are arguing over what constitutes a breach of the NI Protocol. Britain says it's done nothing wrong. Brussels is fuming. What's up? thesun.co.uk/news/14224105/…
2/ The latest row is about the UK's announcement that it plans to unilaterally extend grace periods exempting goods going from GB to NI from EU checks. These were agreed in the NI Protocol and are due to expire at the end of the month. But the UK is prolonging them until Oct 1.
3/ Today's announcement concerned health certificates usually required when moving products of animal origin. But later this week the UK is also expected to bring forward similar measures covering parcels and shipments of goods containing soil like pot plants and seed potatoes.
Read 15 tweets
18 Feb
1/ Trade Secretary Liz Truss will travel to Brussels tomorrow for talks with EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis. She will urge the EU to join forces with Britain and the US to tackle China's 'appalling behaviour' on the world stage. thesun.co.uk/news/14089864/…
2/ The talks will centre on matters of global trade, not the EU-UK trading relationship which is Lord Frost's domain. On the world stage Ms Truss wants to 'work hand-in-glove' with both Europe and the US, 'particularly on challenging China to play fair and clean up its act'.
3/ The meeting comes after the EU published a new trade policy today that warns the 'rapid rise of China affects a level playing field for European companies competing globally and at home' and says Europe needs 'the tools to defend ourselves when we face unfair trade practices'.
Read 4 tweets
11 Feb
Liam Smyth, from the British Chambers of Commerce, tells a Commons International Trade Committee about the Brexit deal: 'We're becoming increasingly aware of businesses that are simply turning away from international trade. We worry the pace of this is going to accelerate.'
Fergus McReynolds, from manufacturing industry representatives Make UK, says 'there's a lot we can do under the structures of the TCA to improve' the situation regarding barriers to trade. He adds: 'Our priority is making sure those supply chains thrive in the new relationship.'
Liam Smyth says firms are seeing a 'significant increase' in costs of moving freight and from extra paperwork. 'A factor is the availability of drivers prepared to come from the EU to drop a load in the UK, then take another load back. Empty trucks tell you they're not happy.'
Read 5 tweets
9 Feb
1/ Some EU frustration at UK griping over trade problems and suggestions Brussels needs to improve its attitude to make the relationship work better. There's a feeling of déjà vu, that the UK never really accepted the practical reality of the deal it wanted and still doesn't.
2/ In particular there's exasperation that the UK is moaning about the deal not including arrangements that it ruled out itself to keep its own red lines intact. It's seen as a pattern of behaviour - first there was visa-free travel for musicians, now it's shellfish.
3/ EU sources say the lack of provisions on shellfish exports was brought up numerous times in the talks as a concern. But the UK refused to engage, as it did on wider SPS issues, over fears of 'being drawn into the EU's regulatory sphere'.
Read 9 tweets
9 Feb
Gove compares the first weeks of UK-EU relations to turbulence after take off. 'Eventually you reach a cruising attitude and the crew tell you to take your seatbelts off and enjoy a G&T and some peanuts. We’re not at the G&T and peanuts stage yet but I’m confident we will be.'
Ex UK negotiator Lord Frost says the EU 'is still adjusting somewhat to the existence of a genuinely independent actor in its neighbourhood'. Adds: 'I hope we’ll get over this. It is going to require a different spirit probably from the EU, but I’m sure we are going to see that.'
* Altitude!
Read 6 tweets

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