Ursula von der Leyen has finally come round to seeing the benefits of Brexit, admitting the UK could act like a “speedboat” on vaccine procurement in comparison to the sluggish EU “tanker”. Will this confession finally put an end to jealous anti-vaxxer briefings from the mainland?
Von der Leyen also conceded to French paper La Croix that the commission had “underestimated the difficulties” they would face and should have braced the public for “ups and downs”.
“I am aware that alone a country can be a speedboat, while the EU is more like a tanker,” Von der Leyen said. “Before concluding a contract with a pharmaceutical company, the 27 member states had five full days to say whether they agreed or not. “This naturally delays the process.
Paddy Ashdown used to use a similar nautical metaphor; that Brexit would result in the UK becoming a “cork bobbing around behind other people’s ocean liners”. With Ursula confessing there have been “ups and downs”, it now looks like it is the EU that is trailing in the wake of Britain’s “speedboat”.