15:15 GMT15 April 2021
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    The European Union and its Commission president Ursula von der Leyen have faced harsh criticism over their centralised vaccine procurement and licensing programme, which has seen the bloc lag behind post-Brexit Britain.

    Most British and Danes have faith in their governments' handling of the COVID-19 pandemic — but other European nations do not.

    That is according to a new survey of the UK and for European Union countries by British pollsters YouGov.

    A massive 85 per cent of British respondents approved of PM Boris Johnson’s  programme, which is vaccinating the population four times faster than the EU. In Denmark the figure was 55 per cent, versus 34 percent who thought the government was doing a bad job.

    In every nation surveyed a majority said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's insistence on centralised vaccine purchasing, regulatory approval and and distribution had been a failure — most of all in her native Germany.

    Danes had by far the highest regard for Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's efforts to safeguard public health during the crisis at 80 per cent. But even the UK government, which has faced harsh criticism for the death toll of over 126,000 to date, a slim majority thought the government was doing well.

    Both Danes and Britons generally thought their governments had done well at protecting jobs during the pandemic. British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak extended the furlough payment scheme for laid-off workers until September in his March budget.

    ​Optimism about life returning to normal was also highest in Denmark, with the UK some way behind. The UK is on track to complete its staged but "irreversible" lifting of the lockdown in June, while France, Germany and many other EU countries are tightening restrictions amid a third wave of infections. The Danish government has vowed to lift the lockdown once all over-50s are vaccinated

    ​The UK has so far given at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine to almost 31 million people — some 45 per cent of the total population — with 4 million having their booster shot. This week Britain overtook the EU for the proportion of residents who have had the second dose — one of von der Leyen's last consolations. 

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    Tags:
    coronavirus, COVID-19, Brexit, Mette Frederiksen, Boris Johnson, Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission, European Union (EU), Sweden, France, Germany, Denmark
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