Prominent Brexiteer Daniel Kawczynski, the controversial, has come under fire on social media for claiming Britain didn't receive any financial aid under the Marshall Plan, the US$15 billion 'recovery program' launched by Washington in 1948 to rebuild war-torn Europe.
He claimed "only Germany" received any funds from the scheme, despite Britain "[helping] to liberate half of Europe", before attacking the European Union's treatment of the UK since triggering Article 50.
Britain helped to liberate half of Europe. She mortgaged herself up to eye balls in process. No Marshall Plan for us only for Germany. We gave up war reparations in 1990. We put £370 billion into EU since we joined. Watch the way ungrateful EU treats us now. We will remember.— Daniel Kawczynski (@DKShrewsbury) February 2, 2019
The tweet has received over 11,000 replies and 3,190 retweets in the two days since it was posted — although few have agreed with his historical or contemporary analysis.
Dr. Warren Dockter, US-born expert in British history and lecturer in international politics at Aberystwyth University, has led the critical charge, calling the MP "categorically wrong about the Marshall Plan".
Noting Britain in fact received 26 percent of Marshall Plan donations, more than any other country — West Germany in fact received 11 percent, France 18 percent, he added the UK furthermore received favorable loans and grants on top of Marshall Plan aid.
This is my Dad you utter sap. He was RAF aircrew in WW2. He knew that after the war we needed to build a Europe strong and united. He campaigned in the 1975 referendum for remain. He knew that loving your country is good but nationalism and xenophobia is always wrong. pic.twitter.com/FWCcd7Qi4G— David🔶#finalsay🔶Bingham 🇪🇺 🇬🇧 (@bingaddick) February 3, 2019
However, British author Emma Kennedy also weighed in on the online drubbing.
Is this a joke or are you just admitting you know zero history?— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) February 2, 2019
Kawczynski nonetheless stood by his comments in conversation with local newspaper the Shropshire Star, saying there were "many people" in the UK who wished to "whitewash the sacrifice Britain has made over generations for Europe.
"They say it is not appropriate to look at a country's history to understand her credentials. Those affiliated to Europe in this country hate any challenge to their point of view. The furore I can deal with," he added.