Britain warns of consequences if EU breaks law on vaccine contracts

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock holds a news conference at 10 Downing Street, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union must respect the law around COVID-19 vaccine supply contracts and there will be consequences for the bloc if it breaks it, health minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday.

“There is of course a need for all countries to respect contract law... and I’m sure that the European Union will live up to the commitments and statements that it has made,” Hancock told lawmakers, after the EU threatened to bloc vaccine exports to Britain.

“We fully expect those contracts to be delivered on, because there are very significant consequences to breaking contract law.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; writing by Alistair Smout; Editing by Kate Holton