@hugheffo You could be dealing with: a defective Opera installation, a defective user profile, some kind of problem authenticating your particular system's https connection handshaking and transactions with Opera's VPN server, or some kind of connection interference by an over-zealous, onboard antivirus program (including some update made to it). If it were a universal problem caused by Opera's VPN mechanism, these forums by now would be flooded with complaints. There are the occasional 'issue' reports here, but nothing like what would result from a complete, universal VPN failure (plus there's @rtomasz 's earlier report that it's working for him in the UK).
Or... it could involve your local ISP blocking either Opera's VPN IP or an entire block of IPs of which Opera is a part. Sometimes that's done either in error or if there's been formal complaints of copyright violations being routed via those IPs.
There are some things to try in isolating possible "local system" causes. First, with all your antivirus/antimalware programs turned off, try to connect via Opera VPN to a known-safe, low/no-ad website (a speed-test site like https://speedof.me/ or similar should suffice) to see if that affects things. Second, with Opera off, you could backup your profile and try resetting (renaming) it to see if Opera can access its VPN when turned back on. Third, you could try a parallel, portable install of Opera to see if that allows VPN access. Last, if you know somebody in your locale using both Opera and the same ISP, ask them to try the VPN and see what their results are.
The submission is bullshit. I was denied submission because allegedly my extension was only pointing to a website (lets ignore the fact you can't create a login for it because it's using special client side encryption -> ProtonMail). Also lets ignore the fact it was designed to always open new tab no matter what page you had open, it would open a new tab and load the login form for ProtonMail. And final nail in the coffin that pissed me off is the fact that people have such extensions on fucking Opera Addons page that literally just load a webpage, but mine was denied because "reasons". And all this time no one gave ANY frigging reply for weeks. I was just waiting like retard until I got pissed off and started demanding answers and then someone arrogantly said it was denied because it's "just a link". Bullshit. Now I have to host the damn thing on my site and I basically stopped using it because I use it as a bookmark now and have to always specifically open an empty tab for it. Anyway, rant off, I'm surprised Opera Addons page isn't more dead given how shitty their support and submission process is.