Wednesday 10 February 2021 8:49 am

Von der Leyen: ‘Mistakes were made’ ahead of EU/UK vaccine debacle

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has admitted “mistakes were made” ahead of the EU’s brief and disastrous decision to block vaccines travelling to the UK.

Speaking this morning, Von der Leyen said the EU Commission would do its “utmost to protect the peace in Northern Ireland.”

The EU Commission president admitted the bloc was not where it wanted to be in the fight against Covid-19, and that it had underestimated the difficulty of mass-producing vaccines.

EU politicians face pressure to increase the speed of their Covid vaccine rollouts, after a very slow start.

Last month there were calls for Von der Leyen to resign her post, after the shortlived decision to block vaccines traveling to the UK.

The decision, which was made after a dispute with drugmaker AstraZeneca over supplies of its vaccines, would have breached the Belfast Good Friday peace agreement by creating an internal border on the island of Ireland.

The EU quickly retreated from its position after a global backlash, with Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove saying Brussels had recognised its “mistake”.

The EU has been unable to rollout vaccines as quickly as the UK because it signed deals with major drugmakers to buy potential vaccines months later than Boris Johnson.