Top UK minister pins malicious EU tantrum on bloc’s vaccine jealousy

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has suggested that the ongoing EU tantrum over implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol could be tied to the bloc’s obvious jealousy of Britain’s Europe-beating coronavirus vaccine roll-out.

Speaking out last night on the BBC’s flagship Question Time discussion show, Kwarteng said: “I think a lot of this is about the fact that when you read the papers in Europe, there’s a lot of anger about the vaccine roll-out. There was a headline in a German newspaper saying ‘We envy you’ – and the you was in English. There’s a real agitation about this and I think that people are playing politics with this.”

Kwarteng was alluding to the huge discrepancy between UK and EU figures on coronavirus jab distribution, with the UK’s independent post-Brexit vaccine scheme outpacing the efforts of the bungling European Commission.

Figures from OurWorldInData show how the UK has distributed more than 32 doses per 100 people while the European Union has doled out barely 8 – meaning Brexit Britain is delivering the life-saving jabs to its population at four times the EU’s pace.

This site reported earlier today how top Eurocrat Maroš Šefčovič had even threatened to sue the UK over government decisions to unilaterally extend agreed implementation grace periods – which PM Boris Johnson described as “temporary and technical measures to ensure that there are no barriers in the Irish Sea”.

Kwarteng’s explanation for increasingly erratic EU behaviour also accords with a pattern of vaccine-jealous conduct from the flailing bloc.

At the end of January, the Commission briefly moved to impose a vaccine customs border on the island of Ireland – a move they had to quickly retract after pressure from the British and Irish national governments.

Around the same time they also sent inspectors to storm an AstraZeneca vaccine plant in Belgium – an impotent show of force perhaps intended to flex their muscle to frustrated Europeans.

And now they are making enemies worldwide with their pathetic moves, with Australian finance minister Simon Birmingham hitting out at Brussels’ desperation and saying “it’s unsurprising that some countries would tear up the rule book.”