‘No coincidence EU screwed up!’ Vine panelists savage Brussels as bloc ‘fails’ citizens

Olivia Utley: It’s not a coincidence the EU ‘screwed up’ vaccine rollout

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The Assistant Comment Editor at the Telegraph joined on the Jeremy Vine on Five programme on Tuesday, arguing that it’s “no coincidence” that the European Union has screwed up over their vaccination scheme. Olivia Utley expressed her delight in seeing the UK reject offers from Brussels to participate in a common vaccination endeavour earlier in the pandemic. Ms Utley proceeded to slap down the bloc for its failure to deliver to its citizens, suggesting the EU’s structure was at the heart of the “screwed up” approach taken.

Programme host Jeremy Vine argued that the EU messed up the vaccination programme.

Ms Utley responded: “They did – but I don’t know if that’s a coincidence.

I mean, imagine working in a big company where12 people have to sign off a document, it’s going to be a slower, clumsier process than having one or two people sign off that document.”

Jeremy Vine then said: “A result of being the EU.”


In June last year, all 27 member states joined a scheme giving the European Union control over buying and distributing vaccines.

Its deals with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna also saw early problems with production and distribution.


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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged the EU’s vaccine difficulties, saying: “We were late to authorise. We were too optimistic when it came to massive production and perhaps too confident that what we ordered would actually be delivered on time.”

On the other hand, the UK approved the Pfizer vaccine in November 2020, nearly three weeks before EU regulators.

Currently, AstraZeneca has started to ship vaccine doses from a British factory to the EU. 

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