The former cabinet minister echoed previous comments made by former prime minister Boris Johnson, who said leaving the EU allowed the UK to “do things differently” when it supplied arms to Kiev.
Sunday, May 14, 2023 at 10:54 in United Kingdom
Jacob Rees-Mogg has said Brexit has allowed the UK to demonstrate “global leadership” over Ukraine that “makes it impossible for Putin to succeed”.
The 53-year-old former Conservative cabinet minister made the argument after being asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday about the main benefits of leaving the EU.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “The leadership that Boris Johnson has shown, he was able to do so because he was not bound by genuine cooperation, ensured a coalition that made it impossible [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is so successful.
“We were able to demonstrate global leadership with Ukraine. If the UK was bound by demands for sincere cooperation and had to follow the Franco-German line in its dealings with Russia, then Putin might succeed in invading Ukraine, which is what we saw in 2014 Pass.”
He echoed comments made by former Prime Minister Johnson in Washington, D.C., in February.
Mr Johnson said leaving the European bloc allowed Britain to “do things differently” while supplying arms to Kiev.
“I seriously think that partly because of Brexit we were able to take a decision and take a very different approach to the old EU approach which, by the way, was governed entirely by the fabled Normandy model, This is an agreement reached in Normandy in 2014,” he said.
“For reasons that are unclear to me now, the UK government decided they didn’t want to be involved. France and Germany took the lead and that’s the EU framework.
“I don’t believe we would have delivered NLaws if we had stuck with it [anti-tank weapons] Frankly, I think we’d take very different approaches.
Mr Johnson added: “I think that because of Brexit we are able to do things differently, I hope in a way that works for Ukraine.”
Britain has pledged £4.6bn in military aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion, second only to the US, and has also trained thousands of soldiers from the country.
This week, the government announced it would send Long Range Storm Shadow Missile to Ukraine.
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The EU also supplies non-lethal and lethal weapons, the first time the EU has supplied such weapons to a third country.
It has pledged more than 4.6 billion euros (£4.04 billion), with many European countries donating military equipment such as Panther tanks.