Boris Johnson has said he expects the third wave of coronavirus in Europe to land on British shores soon.

Speaking to broadcasters in Preston on Monday, Boris Johnson said: “I’ve talked to our (European) friends repeatedly over the period – we’re all facing the same pandemic, we all have the same problems.

“If there is one thing that is worth stressing is that on the continent right now you can see sadly there is a third wave under way.

“People in this country should be under no illusions that previous experience has taught us that when a wave hits our friends, it, I’m afraid, washes up on our shores as well.

“And I expect that we will feel those effects in due course.”

He added that Britain is trying to get jabs done “as fast as we can”.

“That’s why 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.”

The Prime Minister was speaking amid a row with the EU over vaccine exports.

The dispute reflects growing frustration on the continent that the EU is not getting the supplies it expected from the British-Swedish manufacturer.

The Prime Minister is expected to contact his EU counterparts ahead of virtual summit on Thursday where European leaders are due to consider the matter.

Speaking in Preston, Mr Johnson added: “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.

“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 road map we’ve set out.”

Downing Street said it remained “confident” in vaccine supplies, when asked if any potential block of coronavirus jabs to the UK by the EU could delay when people receive their second dose.

“We have said throughout the vaccination programme that supplies will fluctuate, but we remain confident in our supplies,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters.

“As we publicly said, we are on track to offer first doses to all over-50s by April 15, and all other adults by the end of July. we remain committed to ensuring people get their second doses within 12 weeks.

“I would point to the fact that not only do we produce AstraZeneca vaccines here in the UK, but they are produced in other countries as well, and we remain confident in our supplies.”