Charles michel

Von der Leyen’s latest diplomatic faux pas

Ursula von der Leyen isn’t particularly keen on diplomatic protocol. Earlier this year, in a bid to get EU hands on British bound vaccines, the Commission announced its intention to implement a hard Northern Irish border — without bothering to tell either Dublin or Belfast. (Naturally, that fit of international irreverence was blamed on a Brussels subordinate).  Then we had sofagate, which overshadowed what should have been a show of European strength in the face of Turkish President Erdogan. VdL instead decided to take the opportunity to make a fuss about a chair being offered to a man — despite Council President Charles Michel’s superiority to her in the EU’s order of precedence.  Now the haughty

Watch: Boris hits back over Brussels vaccine jabs

Britain has sunk into a vicious bout of ‘vaccine nationalism’ — that is, at least, according to European Council president Charles Michel who made the bizarre claims last night.  Those in Westminster have been less than impressed by the Eurocrat’s bold claims that the UK is undermining the bloc’s vaccine plans, with Dominic Raab ordering EU officials to explain themselves to the Foreign Office. Responding to Michel earlier today, Boris Johnson told PMQs: ‘Let me be clear we have not blocked the export of a single Covid-19 vaccine, or vaccine components.’ Strong words by a clearly irritated PM. He told the Commons that he ‘opposes vaccine nationalism in all its forms’ — Mr S

UK summons EU officials over ‘false’ vaccine claims

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has blasted claims by a senior Eurocrat that the UK is hampering the bloc’s vaccine rollout, calling the questionable assertions ‘completely false’. Charles Michel, president of the European Council, initially argued that Britain had imposed an ‘outright ban on the export of vaccines or vaccine components’ leaving the country in an EU blog on Tuesday. (Michel then subtly soften his claim after commentators pointed out there was no such ‘outright ban’, instead he said there were ‘different ways of imposing bans or restrictions on vaccines’.) But London was having none of it. Raab came out fighting on Tuesday night, insisting that ‘any references to a UK export ban or any restrictions