Boris Johnson fried for linking war plight with Brexit
Boris Johnson has caused widespread offence by comparing the existential fight by the people of Ukraine against Russian aggression with the UK’s Brexit referendum to leave the European Union.
Guy Verhofstadt, the former Prime Minister of Belgium who was the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator, said the comparison was “insane”, while Ed Davey, the Lib Dem leader, said: “To compare a referendum to women and children fleeing Putin’s bombs is an insult to every Ukrainian. He is no Churchill: he is (TV’s comic anti-German character) Basil Fawlty.”
At the Conservative Party’s spring conference in Blackpool on Saturday, Boris said: “… I know that it’s the instinct of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, to choose freedom every time. I can give you examples. When the British people voted for Brexit in such 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.”
Even one of his own Tory MPs, Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the defence select committee, shamed the Prime Minister: “Comparing the Ukrainian people’s fight against Putin’s tyranny to the British people voting for Brexit damages the standard of statecraft we were beginning to exhibit.”