Politics

Fury as Guy Verhofstadt takes swipe at UK ‘to distract’ from EU’s vaccine rollout failure

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The unashamed European federalist shared a graphic comparing how many vaccines countries had exported and how this compared with jabs used domestically. It showed that the US and UK had not exported any of their doses while they rightfully focused on immunising their own populations.

The EU meanwhile had exported 42 percent of its vaccines.

The former Belgian prime minister wrote: “Much as I share the vaccine frustration with the EU, always keep this in mind for perspective.”

The veteran europhile made no mention of the vast quantities of vials laying used around the bloc – unnecessarily hampering its rollout.

Mr Verhofstadt, a prominent Brussels MEP, also omitted to mention the needless suspension of AstraZeneca’s pioneering jab by EU nations over unfounded concerns it creates blood clots.

It was quickly rescinded, but “undermined” the EU’s rollout scheme by creating doubts in its citizens’ minds about the jab’s safety, according to experts.

The tweet quickly garnered a lot of reaction – from both Brexiteers and Remoaners.

One patriotic Brit tweeted: “The chart highlights your incompetence.

“Even with such high levels of domestic production you still couldn’t manage an effective vaccination program for EU citizens.

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“It’s like having an abundance of fresh water yet your population remains thirsty whilst you sell your reserves.”

Another raged: “Pray, do tell, Guy. What exactly is this perspective? That the EU is a kind and benevolent organisation?

“Or just poor at planning, organising and execution?”

A third wrote: “Cheap shot. The UK has donated $735m (£532m) to Covax (an organisation creating Covid vaccines) whereas the EU has given just $489m (£354m).

“Money going into vaccines for the poorest countries of the world. And the Oxford jab is being sold at cost (price).”

Others pointed out that the vaccines are manufactured by private companies and not the EU.

And one Remain voter even blasted the politician for not focusing on the EU failures.

They tweeted: “Pointless information.

“I was against Brexit (and still am, though I’m a democrat so accepted it) but the bureaucratic EU only needs to look inwardly on the vaccine mess, info on private companies should not be conflated with (EU level) incompetence.”

Among a minority of supporters for the Europhile, one wrote: “Good to see ‘global’ Britain in action.”

The outburst came just days after the EU backtracked on a threat to block vaccine exports to countries including the UK.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen previously said AstraZeneca must “catch up” on deliveries to the EU before exporting doses elsewhere.

The UK and EU have since agreed to discuss vaccine exports after the spat threatened to spark a trade war.

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