BRITAIN deliberately broke away from the European Medicines Agency control for vaccine approval in October - meaning the UK could rubber stamp the jab quicker.
Any EU member could in theory do this, but Brussels ordered the 27 remaining EU countries to form a united vaccine policy and wait for central approval.
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Yesterday Germany acknowledged that this diktat has meant a slower rollout of the virus fighter.
Their health minister Jens Spahn said: “What we opted for was a common European approach to move forward together.”
Matt Hancock told Times Radio because of this “We’ve been able to make a decision to do this based on the UK regulator, a world-class regulator, and not go at the pace of the Europeans, who are moving a little bit more slowly.”
EU Covid efforts have also been hampered by hurried stripping of London of the HQ of the EU Medicines Agency in the wake of the 2016’s historic referendum.
The EMA admitted two months ago it still hasn’t got back up to full capacity following a difficult relocation to Amsterdam in the wake of Brexit.
And he said the agency was having “major difficulties” coping with the pandemic due to loss of staff and budget constraints.
There has been fury that the move seen by many to punish Britain for Brexit has actually hampered the EU’s Covid response.
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German MEP Gunnar Beck said: “The response by the EU to the Coronavirus crisis has been slow, expensive, and badly managed.
“There was no rush to move the EMA out of London. In doing so as quickly as possible, they’ve tied one arm behind their back.
"Instead they chose to cut off their nose to spite their face and put people at risk.”
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