Russia: Vine refers to Brexit in debate about sanctions
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Describing those criticising Britain’s response to the invasion of Ukraine as “embittered Europhiles”, one former politician took a swipe at the group. With Britain playing a significant part in training Ukrainian troops prior to the invasion, as well as continuing to provide intelligence to Kyiv, some have asked if Britain is lagging in its efforts.
Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, remainers have taken to blaming Brexit for the act.
Slamming the notion back into reality, Baron Daniel Hannan of Kingsclere praised Britain’s contribution to the Ukrainian defence, but said: “None of this would need saying were it not for the bizarre narrative, pushed by embittered Europhiles, that Britain has somehow lagged behind the EU in its response.”
The politician turned writer and journalist said there were similar traits in the US, in which conservative talk shows slam President Joe Biden’s handling of the crisis, with some hoping he fails in putting pressure on Putin.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Hannan said: “We have our equivalents in this country.
“From the moment Russian armour crossed the border, irreconcilable Remainers declared Britain, by leaving the EU, had lost all influence and was rowing in pathetically behind the sanctions regime determined in Brussels.”
Backing up his argument, Mr Hannan stated there were examples of such rhetoric.
He highlighted a statement by former minister Nick Boles who said: “What do my Brexiteer friends and former colleagues think of the fact the EU has proven itself to be far more muscular and effective than the UK government led by Boris Johnson?
“Across the board: delivering weapons, increasing defence budgets and enforcing sanctions.”
Mr Hannan was quick to quash the idea Britain was lagging behind the EU.
He wrote: “Each of these complaints is demonstrably false.
“While Britain was sending missiles, Germany was blocking the transfer of military equipment across its territory by other NATO allies.
“While Britain was pushing for across-the-board sanctions, EU states were carving out their special interests – luxury handbags for Italy, diamonds for Belgium.”
Mr Hannan also added Britain was leading the way in financial sanctions against Russia.
He said: “Britain and the US have closed sterling and dollar clearing to Russia, but the EU still permits euro clearing.
“The total value of Russian bank assets sanctioned in the UK is £258.8 billion; in the EU it is £38.8 billion.
“Even now, Brussels won’t do the thing Russia most fears and block its energy exports.”
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Yet Mr Hannan praised some EU nations, such as Poland and the Baltic States who were also excelling in assisting Ukraine and condemning Russia.
The former politician said the problem did not lie with EU states, but “with that large minority of British commentators who are so blinded by their dislike of Brexit and their loathing of Boris Johnson they cannot bring themselves to acknowledge anything Britain does is right.”
He added: “No government has been more active in mobilising opposition to Putin.
“As the crisis loomed, the PM wove a cats-cradle around the globe rallying support.
“As Russian troops wheeled and drilled on the border, he dashed from Krakow to Kyiv, from New York to Brussels.
“In Munich, days before the invasion, he warned presciently of what was about to happen.”
IS BREXIT BRITAIN LAGGING BEHIND THE EU? IN TIMES OF CRISIS, SHOULD BRITAIN FORGE CLOSER TO BRUSSELS? HAS BRITAIN TRULY ACHIEVED ITS POST-BREXIT PLACE ON THE GLOBAL STAGE? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS BY CLICKING HERE AND JOINING THE DEBATE IN OUR COMMENTS SECTION – EVERY VOICE MATTERS!
Adding a list of post-Brexit achievements to his thoughts, Mr Hannan ended by saying: “To the annoyance of our cynics, Global Britain has risen to its second challenge, the first being the vaccine rollout.
“Our record is not flawless, but it compares well many of our neighbours.
“Instead of hiding behind a common European front, we built a worldwide coalition against the aggressor.
“We were not alone, of course, we worked with allies in the G7, the Commonwealth and, yes, the EU.
“But we showed leadership and we were willing to back our words with deeds.”
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