Andrew Neil: “EU is in a shambles”

Andrew Neil has hit out at the ‘shambolic’ European Union under the presidency of Ursula von der Leyen, blasting the bloc’s “incompetence” for its Covid-19 vaccine policy.

The former BBC presenter and editor of the Sunday Times criticised the European Commission for its humiliating climbdown over invoking and then un-invoking a provision within the Brexit withdrawal agreement last night which would have seen a border implemented on the island of Ireland.

The Commission had planned to trigger Article 16 within the Northern Ireland Protocol in order to regulate vaccine exports to non-EU countries as it seeks to restrict the flow of vaccines outside of the bloc.

Mr Neil tweeted on Saturday: “After four years of lecturing Britain that it could never countenance anything that might lead to a hard border in Ireland, the European Union, in a desperate response to its own vaccine incompetence, introduces a hard border. Then thinks better of it.”

The fierce but fair journalist proceeded to take aim at the head of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who is subject to much scrutiny across EU member states for her handling of coronavirus crisis so far.

“Not sure people should be surprised that the EU, under Ursula von der Leyen, is in a shambles over vaccines”, wrote Neil.

“When she stood down as German defence minister, she left Germany’s armed forces in a shambles.”

Mr Neil is the chairman of GB News, an upcoming British television news channel due to launch early this year.

Previously commenting on the network, Mr Neil described GB News as “the most exciting thing to happen in British television news for more than 20 years.

“We will champion robust, balanced debate and a range of perspectives on the issues that affect everyone in the UK, not just those living in the London area.

“We’ve seen a huge gap in the market for a new form of television news. GB News is aimed at the vast number of British people who feel underserved and unheard by their media.”