EU are ‘commandeering UK over vaccine supply’ says Malone
Senior MEPs have called for Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s resignation after she threatened to put the Northern Ireland peace process at risk to cut-off the supply of jabs to Britain. The German eurocrat is expected to hold crisis talks with political leaders in the European Parliament this week in a bid to save her job. They have demanded Mrs von der Leyen attend an emergency plenary session to explain how she plans to get the EU’s vaccine scheme back on track.
And Express.co.uk has learnt parliamentary officials are already exploring avenues to force a vote on the disgraced EU leader’s future.
Sources told this website they are trying to establish a “mechanism” for ousting Mrs von der Leyen.
Conservative MEP Cristian Terhes accused Mrs von der Leyen of “over-promising and under-delivering” on her pledge to secure enough doses of Covid jabs for the bloc.
The Romanian added: “She must resign before she does any more damage to EU solidarity and puts the lives of Europeans in danger.
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“Surely the European Parliament can see that this minister who failed in Germany is over-promoted and out of touch with the reality as Commission head. Her temporary imposition of a vaccine blockade on Northern Ireland was the last straw.”
German MEP Nicolaus Fest argued Mrs von der Leyen’s short tenure at the helm of the EU had proven she’s not up to the task of guiding the bloc through the pandemic.
He said: “The vaccination fiasco has left the EU’s reputation on the international stage in tatters. Her decision to introduce controls on vaccines to Northern Ireland – only to reverse this decision hours later – was undiplomatic and hypocritical after years of berating the UK for pursuing a hard border.
“Europe demands answers for her mistakes, but I’m not convinced she has them. There is no option left for von der Leyen but to resign.”
Gunnar Beck, a member of the EU Parliament’s influential legal affairs committee, accused the Brussels boss of threatening to blockade Britain’s supply of Covid jabs to cover up her own “inadequacy”.
He said: “This whole saga is a panicked response from incompetent and unaccountable EU bureaucrats flailing around trying to find anyone else to blame for their own stupidity.
“These were political decisions taken right at the top of the EU and such they should be held accountable. Commission President von der Leyen should resign.”
A Commission president hasn’t resigned since Luxembourger Jacques Santer stepped down in March 1999 after being caught up in a corruption scandal.
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Dublin was today still reeling from Mrs von der Leyen’s plan to impose a hard border on Ireland to prevent Britain from getting jabs via the backdoor.
Foreign minister Simon Coveney said it was a “serious mistake” to consider tearing up the Brexit divorce deal without consulting the Irish government about the consequences first.
He added: “I think it was a mistake that everybody recognises should not have happened.”
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Britain has raced ahead of the EU administering almost 9.5 million jabs to date, at a rate of 14.17 doses per 100 people.
In contrast, France is lagging behind, dishing out just 1.5 million vaccines at a rate of just 2.3.
And the entire EU, which has delivered 12.3 million jabs, is trundling along at a rate of 2.76 per 100 people.
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