The boss of the European Commission has been forced into apologising for the bloc’s slow vaccine procurement process and subsequent roll-out.
In an interview published in the German Suddeutsche Zeitung, Ursula von der Leyen admitted mistakes had been made in the European Commission’s approach to procuring vaccines, accepting it had ‘underestimated’ the level of problems the bloc would face.
“We should have explained that things are moving forward, but slowly, and that there will be problems and delays with these completely new procedures”, said von der Leyen.
The Commission President also expressed her regret for threatening a hard vaccine border on the island of Ireland saying: “We shouldn’t have even thought about it.”
During her remarks, she accidentally made the case for Brexit, insisting that sovereign nations acting alone would always be able to proceed more quickly than the burdensome bloc.
Von der Leyen explained that countries such as Brexit Britain are ‘like a speedboat’ while the EU ‘is more of a tanker.’
The UK did indeed act much more quickly than the European Union and its associated medical regulator. It approved both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs more than three weeks before the European Medical Agency, enabling faster procurement and a more efficient roll-out process.
More than 10 million people have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom, some 14 per cent of the population. Meanwhile, the European Union languishes on barely over 2 per cent.