EU calls for review after rising tensions with UK.


The EU’s diplomatic representative in the UK has called for a reset in relations, amid rising post-Brexit tensions between the two sides.

Joao Vale de Alemeida said there was a need to “change the mindset” and “give up on trying score points on the disputes of the past”.

It comes amid a row over the UK’s decision to delay border checks on GB goods arriving in Northern Ireland.

The two sides are also embroiled in a spat over the export of Covid vaccines.

Speaking to British journalists, Mr Vale de Alemeida called for an end to confrontations over how Brexit agreements are applied.

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He confirmed the EU would launch legal action within days over the UK’s decision to extend grace periods on border checks in Northern Ireland.


The UK has pushed back full checks on goods arriving from Great Britain, after disruption to some food supplies and online deliveries.

The inspections were agreed as part of the UK’s EU withdrawal deal, in a bid to avoid border posts between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

But the decision to delay the checks without the agreement of the EU has prompted the bloc to accuse the UK of violating the agreement.

On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the move was “lawful” and intended to preserve trade between different parts of the UK.

He added that UK is committed to “pragmatically resolving” trade issues at the committee set up to oversee the Brexit withdrawal deal.

Vaccine disputes

As well as Northern Ireland, tensions have also risen over Covid-19 vaccine exports between Europe and the UK.

Boris Johnson has strongly rejected a claim from European Council President Charles Michel the UK has imposed an “outright ban” on exports.

Earlier this week, the Foreign Office summoned an EU official to explain what it called the president’s “incorrect assertions”.

But on Thursday, Mr Michel called for the UK to publish more information about how many vaccines made in the UK are being sold to other countries.

In an interview with Politico Europe, Mr Michel said it was “unfair” to attack the EU over its vaccine strategy.

Asked about his claim the UK had imposed a ban, he added: “I confirm what I said because there are different ways to impose a limitation or a ban”.

The two sides have also been locked in a dispute over the status of Mr Vale de Alemeida’s job as EU representative.

The UK government has been criticised after downgrading his diplomatic status after the UK left its Brexit transition period earlier this year.

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