It should not surprise us that Brexiteer ministers have descended to the language of the playground. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, declared yesterday that the reason the United Kingdom was able to authorise the Pfizer vaccine before France, Belgium and the United States was “because we’re a much better country than every single one of them, aren’t we?”
Even allowing for Mr Williamson’s eccentric sense of humour, and even allowing that there is some truth in the claim that our departure from the EU made it easier for our regulator to approve the vaccine independently, this feels like pride coming before a fall.
The vaccine decision – which was permissible as an emergency measure under EU law (to which we are still subject) but would have been politically difficult if we had still been a member of the bloc – has prompted some undignified crowing from ministers who should know better.
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