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Nick Clegg says EU ‘let itself and millions of Europeans’ down over Covid vaccine programme

Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Nick Clegg has said the EU has let itself and millions of Europeans down over its troubled Covid vaccine rollout.

This comes as a new poll shows two-thirds of adults believe being outside the EU helped the UK’s vaccination programme to succeed.

Clegg told LBC radio he thought “the EU has let itself down, more importantly has let millions of Europeans down by not providing people with vaccines on the scale and with the speed that has been possible in the UK and elsewhere, and that’s elicited, quite understandably, a lot of anger.

“Never mind what people say to opinion pollsters in the UK, across the EU people are waiting for their vaccines impatiently.”

He added: “I hope they catch up… Covid anywhere is Covid everywhere.

“Clearly something has gone very badly wrong indeed in recent months in the EU.”

Clegg suggested that “something got lost in translation” between the European Commission in Brussels and the member states, which are responsible for distributing doses and that Brussels had been too hesitant to invest in vaccines in the development phase.

“[Brussels] did not place any big bets on pre-buying a whole bunch of – at that point – untested vaccines, which had been the case in the UK and US,” he said.