BRITAIN is a speedboat racing ahead on vaccines compared to the cumbersome EU oil tanker, Brussels boss Ursula von der Leyen has admitted.
The chief eurocrat even acknowledged Brexit had helped the UK outpace the rest of Europe with its jabs rollout.
She accepted the bloc had made big mistakes in its shambolic scheme that would have held the UK back.
And she finally took personal responsibility for the blunder that saw Brussels almost trigger a vaccine border in Northern Ireland.
The European Commission president was grilled on why Britain’s jabs rollout has been so much more successful than the EU’s.
It comes after years of eurocrats sneeringly claiming the UK would be too small to stand on its own two feet.
Instead, Mrs von der Leyen accidentally made the compelling case for Brexit with her remarks.
She said: “Alone, a country can be a speedboat, while the EU is more like a tanker.
“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.”
It comes after Germany’s finance minister attacked the EU’s scheme as “really s***” during a stormy meeting of Angela Merkel’s cabinet this week, according to reports.
But Mrs von der Leyen said she was “absolutely convinced” pooling the buying of jabs was the right approach.
She insisted: “I can’t even imagine what it would have meant for Europe, in terms of unity, if one or more member states had access to vaccines and not the others.”
The EU’s foreign affairs chief yesterday admitted its bungled jabs programme may mean it has to turn to Russia.
Josep Borrell lavished praise on Moscow for the development of the Sputnik V vaccine and said it could help solve Europe’s supply problems.
The EU has only jabbed 3.22 per cent of its adult population, compared to 15.5 per cent in the UK.
In the interview with European newspapers, the Commission boss also said the buck stops with her in the Northern Ireland row.
She said she regretted the move to trigger a safeguard clause in the Brexit deal that would have put up a vaccine border in Ireland.
The move sparked a furious backlash in London, Belfast, and Dublin and was quickly reversed.
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