- Boris Johnson stated it is the intuition of each Ukraine and the UK to “select freedom each time.”
- He cited Brexit as a “well-known latest instance,” sparking outrage over the comparability.
- Evaluating the referendum to the battle is an “insult to each Ukrainian,” Liberal Democrat Ed Davey stated.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sparked anger on Saturday for drawing a comparability between Ukraine combating off a Russian invasion and the British voting in favor of leaving the European Union.
“I do know that it is the intuition of the individuals of this nation, just like the individuals of Ukraine, to decide on freedom each time,” Johnson stated throughout a speech on the Conservative Occasion’s Spring Convention in Blackpool, including that he had a “couple of well-known latest examples.”
“When the British individuals voted for Brexit in such massive, massive numbers, I do not consider it was as a result of they have been remotely hostile to foreigners. It is as a result of they needed to be free, to do issues in another way, and for this nation to have the ability to run itself,” Johnson stated.
Johnson was speaking concerning the contentious 2016 vote during which a slim majority voted in favor the UK leaving the EU, with 52% voting to depart and 48% voting to stay. He additionally stated one other instance was when the British individuals selected to get vaccinated towards COVID-19.
—Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) March 19, 2022
His Brexit feedback sparked swift criticism from different UK and European political figures.
Man Verhofstadt, the previous prime minister of Belgium, known as the comparability “insane.” Donald Tusk, the president of the European Individuals’s Occasion, stated Johnson’s remarks “offend Ukrainians, the British, and customary sense.”
Ed Davey, chief of the UK’s Liberal Democrats, stated in a tweet that Johnson was a “nationwide embarrassment.”
“To check a referendum to girls and youngsters fleeing Putin’s bombs is an insult to each Ukrainian,” he stated.
Gavin Barwell, a Conservative and former member of UK Parliament, stated in a tweet: “Other than the bit the place voting in a free and honest referendum is not in any method comparable with risking your life to defend your nation towards invasion + the awkward truth the Ukrainians are combating for the liberty to affix the EU, this comparability is bang on.”
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated final month after the invasion started that he had formally utilized to make Ukraine a member of the EU.
Downing Avenue didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark.