The Prime Minister was condemned by former EU leaders, senior Tories and the French Ambassador to the UK after he compared Ukrainians who are fighting war crimes to Britons who voted for Brexit
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Boris Johnson has sparked outrage from the Tories and Europe after comparing Ukraine’s fight against war crimes to Britons voting for Brexit.
The Prime Minister said the “instinct of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, is to choose freely” in a bizarre speech to the Tory conference in Blackpool.
In a speech watched live by Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, he added the Brexit vote was a “well-known recent example”.
Mr Johnson was criticized by the French ambassador, a former European Council president, a former No 10 chief of staff, and opposition MPs who have called him “Basil Fawlty”.
Tory counterpart Lord Barwell, who served as Theresa May’s No 10 Chief of Staff, indicated Ukraine was looking to join the EU.
He said voting in the 2016 referendum “in no way compares to risking your life” in a war with the Russian military.
He sarcastically tweeted: “Apart from voting in a free and fair referendum there is no way comparable to risking your life to defend your country against oppression. aggression + the awkward fact that Ukrainians are fighting for the freedom to join the EU, the comparison is very good.”
Former European Council president Donald Tusk said: “I can still remember the enthusiasm of Putin and Trump after the referendum.
“Boris, your words offend Ukrainians, Britons and common sense.”
Tory Defense Committee chairman Tobias Ellwood said Mr Johnson’s comparisons “spoiled the standard of statecraft” on display in the response to the invasion.
In a Twitter comment, Mr Ellwood said: “If we are to ultimately defeat Putin, we need international leadership and solidarity.
“Comparison of the Ukrainian people’s fight against Putin’s autocracy with the British people’s vote for Brexit undermines the standard of regulation that we have begun to demonstrate.”
Philippe Errera, political director at the French foreign ministry, said: “If I were Ukrainian, I would feel offended. If I were British, I would be embarrassed. As a French diplomat, I won’t comment on twitter…”
French Ambassador to the UK Catherine Colonna retweeted Mr Ellwood’s comment and replied to Mr Errera: “As French Ambassador to the UK, neither will I.”
Former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, another leading critic of Brexit in Brussels, called the comparison “insane”.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak today dodged questions about whether the Prime Minister’s words at the Tory Spring Conference were “rude” and suggested he would not make a similar statement.
He insists his boss has “taken the lead globally in countering Putin’s aggression”. But he added: “No, I don’t think those two situations are directly similar, they are clearly not directly similar and I don’t think the Prime Minister said they are directly similar.”
Former Tory MP David Gauke tweeted: “Imagine being a serious, decent Conservative MP and having to go out and defend the Prime Minister of Ukraine/Brexit remarks? No wonder Rishi Sunak looks uncomfortable.”
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves asked Boris Johnson to apologize to the Ukrainian people for his “totally unpleasant and offensive” comparison.
She told Sky News: “It is insulting to the people of Ukraine, who are fighting for their freedom and their lives, and it is also an insult to the British people.
“And if the Prime Minister didn’t mean that comparison, he shouldn’t have done it, and he should take his words back and apologize to the Ukrainian people and the British people for the rude remarks he made. launched yesterday.”
In his speech, Mr Johnson said: “I know that the instincts of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, have always been to choose freely.
“I can give you a few famous recent examples.
“When the British people voted for Brexit in such large and large numbers, I don’t believe it was because they were hostile from afar to foreigners. It was because they wanted to be free to do things differently and to this country can run.
PA Wire / PA Image)
Another example that the British Prime Minister gave is that the British people are willing to voluntarily vaccinate against Covid-19 because they “want to continue with their lives” and are “tired of being told to do so by people like me.” doing what”.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the Prime Minister “is a national shame”, adding: “Comparing a referendum to women and children fleeing bombs Putin’s is an insult to all Ukrainians.
“He’s not Churchill. He’s Basil Fawlty.”
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “Boris Johnson’s comments comparing Ukraine’s life-threatening situation to Brexit are deplorable and disgusting, and show that the Tories are dangerously obsessed with Brexit how.”
But loyal Tory MP Lucy Allan said: “Great speech from @BorisJohnson in excellent form. ”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/fury-boris-johnsons-basil-fawlty-26511155 Infuriated as Boris Johnson's 'Basil Fawlty' rambling compares Ukraine's struggle to Brexit