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Border gaffe means VDL is now shorthand for ‘Very Damaged Leader’

John Downing


It has not been a good time for EC President Ursula von der Leyen with the fallout from the Northern Ireland protocol error continuing into a second week

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European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen. Photo: Francois Walschaerts/Reuters

European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen. Photo: Francois Walschaerts/Reuters

European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen. Photo: Francois Walschaerts/Reuters

Ever since her surprise arrival in Brussels in the summer of 2019, Ursula von der Leyen, has been known by her initials, VDL.

We know the initials phenomenon from the cross-over with US politics: Ireland’s own beloved JFK, his successor Lyndon Johnson, widely known as LBJ, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was dubbed FDR.


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