“You can see sadly there is a third wave underway,” the prime minister said, as lockdowns are introduced in several EU countries.
“And people in this country should be under no illusions that previous experience has taught us that, when a wave hits our friends, I’m afraid it washes up on our shores as well.”
And, condemning the violent scenes at a protest in Bristol, as “unacceptable”, he said: “People obviously have a right to protest in this country, but they should protest peacefully and legally.”
Mr Johnson insisted that – despite the worsening picture across the Channel – “we will just bash on the with the roadmap we set out, with the programme we’ve got”.
“We’re getting on with our vaccination programme as fast as we can, but a vaccination campaign and developing vaccines, rolling them out – these are international projects and they require international co-operation,” he added.
On the Brussels’ threat to block exports to the UK – ahead of likely talks with national leaders in the coming days – Mr Johnson played down the conflict.
“I’m reassured by talking to EU partners over the last few months that they don’t want to see blockades, I think that’s very important,” he said, speaking at BAE Systems in Preston
“Clearly what matters to us in the UK is we get on with the rollout of the vaccine programme. I think we’ve now done over half the adults in the country, which is very good news.
“We’re on course to do everybody in priority groups 1-4, they’ve been done, but groups 1-9, all the over 50s, by April 15 – and then we’ll just bash on with the roadmap we’ve set out.”