A former Greek finance minister has admitted the UK would have been caught up in the EU’s coronavirus vaccine disaster had it remained a member of the EU.
Yanis Varoufakis, who served as Greek finance minister during the Eurozone financial crisis said he now has “a little bit of egg on [his] face” for supporting the Remain campaign. This comes as Europe is hit by repeated vaccine supply problems and is currently lagging far behind the UK on the number of jabs so far administered.
Speaking to Newsweek International the former finance minister said: “The EU commission has been behaving as if they were on the payroll of Brexiteers with a remit to justify Brexit, it is astonishing, it’s a comedy of errors in Brussels.
“It’s as if it was designed by Eurosceptics in order to sanctify Brexit, it’s very difficult to argue against Brexit now if you look at the vaccination fiasco.
“You have eight times more people vaccinated in Britain as we speak than in Germany, don’t talk about Greece.
“It’s clear that Britain would have been hamstrung in that department had it not left the EU.
“Had it stayed in the EU you would have had to abide by the rules we Greeks have to abide by, the approval of the vaccines would have taken months longer than it did in the UK, you would have one-tenth of the vaccinations that you have so it is to Brexiteers delight what has been happening in the EU.”
In the interview, Mr Varoufakis also accused Brussels of covering up its COVID-19 vaccine failures using similar tactics to those adopted during the Euro crisis.
He said: “Everything I now hear from Brussels is now so reminiscent of what was going on during the Euro crisis, the blame game, the Commission trying to cover bad decisions by making worse decisions, disarray, nationalism, fragmentation.
“I fought against Brexit, but I have to say there is a little bit of egg on my face as we speak because I can’t in all honesty say to you that I don’t regret supporting Remain five years ago, it would be dishonest of me to say that.”
The minister’s comments come after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently said the UK has acted more like a “speedboat” than the EU “tanker” in securing vaccines.