U.K. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said Thursday the U.K. is “a much better country” than France, Belgium and the U.S. because of its speedy vaccine approval.
“We’ve obviously got the best medical regulators,” Williamson told LBC’s Nick Ferrari. “Much better than the French have, much better than the Belgians have, much better than the Americans have.”
When asked whether leaving the EU had helped speed up the U.K.’s approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Williamson said: “That doesn’t surprise me at all because we’re a much better country than every single one of them aren’t we.”
His comments come the day after similar notes of what French MEP Véronique Trillet-Lenoir dubbed “vaccine nationalism” sparked anger across Europe. “It’s a sad indictment of British politics that everything has to be seen through the prism of Brexit, which has nothing to do with this,” one EU official said.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma drew swift criticism from Germany’s Ambassador to the U.K. Andreas Michaelis for a tweet crowing that this was the day “the U.K. led humanity’s charge against this disease.”