Brexit prevented Ukraine invasion from succeeding, says Jacob Rees-Mogg | world news

Jacob Rees-Mogg said Brexit had allowed Britain to show “global leadership” over Ukraine, making “Putin’s success impossible”.

The 53-year-old former Tory minister made that argument after being asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday program about the main benefits of leaving the EU.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: ‘The leadership shown by Boris Johnson, which he was only able to do because he was not bound by sincere cooperation, ensured the formation of a coalition which made it impossible [Russian President Vladimir] Putin succeeds.

“We were able to show global leadership on Ukraine. Putin would probably have successfully invaded Ukraine if the UK had been bound by the requirement for sincere cooperation and had to follow a Franco-German line in its relations with Russia, which we did in 2014.”

He echoed comments made by former Prime Minister Mr Johnson in Washington DC in February.

Mr Johnson said leaving the European bloc allowed Britain to ‘do things differently’ while supplying weapons to kyiv.

“I seriously think that it was partly because of Brexit that we were able to make a decision and have a very distinct approach to the old EU approach, which by the way was entirely governed by the legendary Norman format, agreed in Normandy in 2014,” he said.

“For reasons now obscure to me, the UK government decided they didn’t want to be involved in this. France and Germany led it, it was the EU framework.

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“If we had stayed true to that, I don’t believe we would have delivered the NLaws [anti-tank weapons] and I think we would have taken a very different approach, to be perfectly frank.

“I think through Brexit we were able to do things differently and hopefully in a way that was helpful to Ukraine,” Mr Johnson added.

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Since the Russian invasion, the UK has committed £4.6 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, second only to the US, and is also training thousands of the country’s soldiers.

This week, the government announced that it would send Long Range Storm Shadow Missiles to Ukraine.

The EU is also supplying non-lethal and lethal weapons, the first time the bloc has supplied such weapons to a third country.

It has pledged just over €4.6bn (£4.04bn) and many European countries have donated military equipment such as Leopard tanks.


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