Tony Blair brands EU's move to override Brexit deal on Northern Ireland 'very foolish'
The former prime minister, a vocal supporter of the UK remaining in the bloc, said Brussels' action in triggering article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol to control the movement of coronavirus jabs had been "unacceptable".
The EU backtracked on the move, imposed unilaterally as it faces shortfalls on vaccine supplies, after facing universal criticism from London, Dublin and Belfast.
"I was somebody who negotiated the Good Friday Agreement, it's brought peace to the island of Ireland and it is absolutely vital that we protect it and that's why what the European Commission did was unacceptable but, as you say, fortunately they withdrew it very quickly."
Mr Blair also said there was a "very strong case" for teachers to be vaccinated before schools are reopened to all students in England, which the UK Government has earmarked for March 8.
The move would require a delay for some older people to receive the jabs, but it is not suggested it starts before the top four priority groups are vaccinated, which is aimed for mid-February.
"Well, I am suggesting I would push back," Mr Blair, 67, said."If it's 500,000 people, it is two days of vaccination.
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