So he tells the Telegraph. But the one big thing did get done, as Matt Ridley reminds us:
Not now, not after the vaccine fiasco; now it is easy to explain Brexit. Britain signed up early to buy the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine and approved it swiftly. The EU’s leaders: first, accused us of cutting corners on safety, thus encouraging anti-vax nonsense; second, found themselves at the back of the queue after incompetently negotiating a bad deal; third, took an age to approve it in a display of astounding bureaucratic lethargy; fourth, castigated AstraZeneca for failing to give in to pressure to allow them to jump the queue; and fifth, tried to impose a hard border in Ireland just to stop the Northern Irish getting vaccines. These are not the actions of an ally and friend.
In part two, despite wanting the vaccine so badly they were prepared to tear up contracts and treaties, in a fit of pique at the fact that it was British, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel started speculating falsely that the Oxford vaccine was ineffective in the elderly, thus putting their population off it so much that millions of doses accumulated unused. And now Mario Draghi stops exports of this supposedly unsafe and ineffective vaccine. Has there ever been a more petty – and contradictory – display of populist isolationism? Donald Trump must be open-mouthed with envy.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that we’ll mess things up on our own. But it was right that we left that nonsense.