In a steep escalation of the EU's fight to secure vaccine supplies, Brussels had said it would trigger clauses in the Northern Irish Protocol to prevent the vaccines from moving across the open border between EU-member Ireland and the British-run province.
Following an outcry in London, Belfast, and Dublin, the EU published a statement just before midnight saying it would ensure that the Northern Ireland Protocol, designed to keep the border open, would not be affected.
It warned, however, that should vaccines and active substances move toward third countries and out of the bloc, it would use "all the instruments at its disposal".
Ireland said the EU's change of heart was welcome but that lessons should be learned.
The EU's original plan was intended to prevent the open border between EU-member Ireland and Northern Ireland from acting as a backdoor for vaccine supplies into the United Kingdom.
The public reversal followed a round of frantic calls as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of his "grave concerns".
And Northern Irish unionists cast the EU's original plan as an act of hostility.
In a tweet late on Friday, von der Leyen said she'd spoken to Johnson.
She said they "agreed on the principle that there should not be restrictions on the export of vaccines by companies where they are fulfilling contractual responsibilities."
Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned that Northern Ireland must not "spiral back to that dark place of sectarian murders and political discord" after further disorder saw 14 police officers injured on Friday night. Report by Etemadil. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
The first group of people to face mandatory hotel quarantine in Ireland has arrived at the designated facility.Around 20 passengers arriving into Dublin Airport on Friday were transferred by bus to the first quarantine centre at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry.
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The key facts behind the day's headlines on April 16 after talks have taken place about Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit arrangements amid warnings from MEPs that the breakdown in trust could derail the trade agreement struck between the UK and European Union.
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Speaking to the media at Stormont House in Belfast, Secretary of State Brandon Lewis welcomes the condemnation of violence from all the Stormont parties and expresses his confidence in the PSNI. Mr Lewis denied that the UK Government had abandoned unionists through the new Brexit arrangements - one of the concerns inflaming tensions among loyalists that have sparked a week of violence, which police said has been on a scale not seen in recent years.Mr Lewis arrived in Northern Ireland on Thursday following violent scenes at a Belfast interface on Wednesday evening, to speak to political and faith leaders.
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Stormont’s leaders said Northern Ireland can look to a brighter future as they announced a sweeping range of Covid-19 lockdown relaxations.The reopening of the tourism and hospitality sectors were fast-tracked as part of a series of measures agreed by ministers on Thursday.
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Turkey raised the issue of Uighur Muslims during talks with China's foreign minister in Ankara on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, as hundreds of Uighurs protested against the treatment of their ethnic kin in China. Edward Baran reports.
Four Hong Kong democracy activists were released from custody on Friday, after prosecutors withdrew an appeal against a court decision to grant them bail in a controversial national security case. Edward Baran reports
Pope Francis is due to hold an inter-religious prayer service at the ancient Mesopotamian site of Ur when he visits Iraq next week - an event local archaeologists hope will draw renewed attention to the site. Edward Baran reports.
The hashtag #GiveHerASeat is trending on Twitter ever since European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's visit to Turkey along with her associates and fellow top EU officials, the most unexpected occurence is now making headlines.
During her visit to Ankara on Wednesday, Ursula von der Leyen and other top officials of the EU were meeting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan when the Turkey leader and her EU colleague walked into the room along with her and took the only two chairs available. This left Ursula von der Leyen in an awkward position, standing in the middle and looking surprised that there were only two chairs available in the room for the meeting and the two men had already occupied them.
Ursula von der Leyen was speechless after being left without a chair during a meeting with Turkey's leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The European Commission president was eventually seated on a sofa during the meeting at a summit where one of the topics was women's rights.
The European Commission president has warned AstraZeneca that it must “honour” its vaccine contract with the bloc before exporting doses elsewhere in the world.Ursula von der Leyen urged “transparency” from other countries, but did not confirm if the EU would bring in tougher export restrictions on coronavirus jabs, amid a row over supplies with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant.
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Boris Johnson has said a new Government antivirals taskforce will help identify new medicines for the treatment of Covid-19.The Prime Minister told a Downing Street news conference that they could give confidence to people that the country could “continue on our path towards freedom”.The Janssen vaccine is yet to be approved for use in the UK.The safety committee of the EMA concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as a “very rare” side effect of the vaccine.
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Boris Johnson has announced the creation of a new antiviral task force to help identify coronavirus cases and deploy new treatments. Speaking during a Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said the task force will "search for most promising new medicines and support their development through clinical trials". He said that such medicines could be made available "as early as the autumn". Report by THOMASL. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
Boris Johnson has said his government could seek a "legislative solution" against the idea of a football European Super League. Speaking during a Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said the idea of a closed, 'superior' league "offends against the basic principle of competition" and in order to "protect that principle...we will seek a legislative solution". He added that the Super League, which he labelled a "cartel", is "not in the interests of fans, not in the interests of football".
Report by THOMASL. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said bereaved relatives should be allowed to decide whether the National Covid Memorial Wall in central London should be made permanent.Justin Welby spoke with people adding tributes to the wall, which features roughly 150,000 pink and red hearts representing those who have died with coronavirus, along with Rabbi Daniel Epstein and Imam Kazeem Fatai in a show of support and solidarity.After speaking with bereaved relatives and saying prayers with them beside the wall, the Archbishop said: "It's like a huge wave that's about to break over you of sorrow, it’s the most extraordinary sight, it's quite overwhelming."
Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO Duration: 00:49Published
London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey launches his manifesto at youth club Onside in north London.The Conservative promised to use his first 100 days as mayor to tackle crime if he defeats Labour’s Sadiq Khan on May 6.
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