- Sputnik International, 1920
The latest news and stories from Russia. Stay tuned for updates and breaking news on defense, politics, economy and more.

Sunak Distances Himself From BoJo After Brexit-Ukraine Analogy as PM 'Mulls Lightning Trip to Kiev'

© AFP 2023 / JUSTIN TALLISBritain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak hosts a press conference in the Downing Street Briefing Room on February 3, 2022
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak hosts a press conference in the Downing Street Briefing Room on February 3, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2022
Reacting to Boris Johnson's remarks that Britons shared the same "instinct" for freedom as the people of Ukraine, former European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted on Sunday that Johnson's "words offend Ukrainians, the British, and common sense".
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has said that he does not consider Ukraine's resistance to the special Russian military operation in the country and the 2016 Brexit referendum comparable. The moment came when he commented on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's previous remarks on the matter.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Sunak said that he does not think "those two situations are directly analogous".

"Clearly they are not directly analogous and I don't think the prime minister was saying they are directly analogous", the chancellor stated.
When asked why Johnson used such a comparison, Sunak declined to clarify, saying: "I don't think the prime minister did either". The chancellor added that "people will make up their own minds", then reiterating that he "certainly" does not think "those two situations are directly analogous, and I don't think he [Johnson] does either".
Sunak spoke after Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves urged the PM to extend apologies over his remarks, asserting that "it is utterly distasteful and insulting to compare the fight for freedom against the aggression of the Russian state to the decision to leave the EU".

"It is insulting to the Ukrainian people, who are fighting for their very freedom and their very lives, and it is insulting to the British people as well. If the prime minister didn't mean that analogy, he shouldn't have made it and he should take those words back and apologise to the Ukrainian people and the British people for those crass remarks", Reeves said.

Former EU negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, for his part, described Johnson's remarks as "insane", while Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey claimed that the UK prime minister was "needlessly creating division".
The PM made the remarks during a speech to a Conservative Party conference in Blackpool, in northern England on Saturday. Addressing party members, he claimed that the world is now facing a moment of choice between "freedom and oppression", lashing out at those who think it is necessary to "make accommodations with tyranny".

Johnson then argued that it was "the instinct of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, to choose freedom every time", referring to the Brexit referendum in June 2016 as a "famous recent example".

"When the British people voted for Brexit in such large, large numbers, I don't believe it was because they were remotely hostile to foreigners. It's because they wanted to be free to do things differently and for this country to be able to run itself", Johnson stated.

PM Reportedly Considering Visiting Kiev

The British prime minister was slammed over his Brexit-Ukraine comparison amid media reports that he is considering "a lightning trip" to Kiev in a show of support for the Ukrainian Army against the ongoing Russian special operation. UK security officials are reportedly "having kittens" at the prospect of Johnson going to the Ukrainian capital, but a Whitehall source claimed the PM "wants to go" if it can be made to work, according to the Daily Mail.

"If you set aside the security concerns, which are considerable, the question is whether there is anything additional you could achieve by visiting in person, or whether it would just be a show of solidarity, and whether that is a sufficient goal in itself", the newspaper cited the source as saying.

Since the Ukraine crisis began in late February, Johnson's net approval ratings have slightly improved, even though more than half of UK voters still believe the PM should resign over a number of scandals, including a row related to alleged Downing Street parties held between 2020 and 2021 amid strict COVID lockdowns.

Russia's Special Op in Ukraine

On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" Ukraine, following a request for help from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic which saw weeks of intensifying shelling by the Ukrainian Army.
The Kremlin has repeatedly stressed that it does not plan to occupy Ukraine, with the Russian Defence Ministry stating that the operation only aims to destroy Ukrainian military infrastructure, and that the civilian population is out of danger. Western nations, among them the UK, have condemned the operation as "aggression" and imposed packages of "severe" sanctions on Russia.
Let's stay in touch no matter what! Follow our Telegram channel to get all the latest news: https://t.me/sputniknewsus
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала