14.8 C
Monday, October 2, 2023
HomePoliticsJacob Rees-Mogg claims that Brexit was instrumental in preventing Putin's invasion of...

Jacob Rees-Mogg claims that Brexit was instrumental in preventing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.


Brexit contributed to the failure of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, claims Jacob-Rees Mogg.

The former Brexit odds minister suggested there would have been a “dirty compromise” with the Russian leader, whose war has been frustrated by the size of Ukrainian resistance, if British foreign policy had still been aligned with Brussels.

Mr Rees-Mogg referred to the principle of “sincere cooperation”, meaning that the EU and its Member States should “assist each other in full mutual respect” in carrying out tasks arising from its treaty package.

Asked by Sky’s Sophy Ridge what he thinks the benefits of Brexit have been, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “We saved £191bn by not being in the EU for her Covid recovery fund. That would have been our share of the EU recovery fund. 191 billion, that’s one thing.”

Johnson’s leadership helped hold Putin back

“What’s more – we have a free trade deal with Australia that will be much better than forecasts predict. (And) we were able to demonstrate global leadership over Ukraine.

“Putin would probably have successfully invaded Ukraine if the UK had been bound by the requirement of sincere cooperation and had to follow a Franco-German line in dealing with Russia, which we did in 2014.

Asked if he “sincerely” believed Putin would have launched a successful invasion without Brexit, Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “I think Boris Johnson’s leadership, which he could only do because he was not bound by sincere cooperation , created a coalition that made it impossible for Putin to succeed.

“And if I think that had not been the case, we would have been bound by this concept of sincere cooperation, we would have had the sordid compromise that was made in 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea. But I think it’s very important.”

Mr Johnson oversaw around £3.8bn in military and economic support for Ukraine between the Russian invasion in February 2022 and his departure from Downing Street seven months later.

He enjoyed strong support among the Ukrainians and made a number of visits to the war-torn country, becoming close to Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president.

Rishi support

Mr Zelensky has praised the former prime minister for supporting his country “from day one of Russian terror” and championing Western military aid for many other European leaders.

Elsewhere in his Sunday morning interview, Mr Rees-Mogg said it was “of course” a mistake by Conservative MPs to oust Mr Johnson last summer following a series of scandals.

However, he added: “Getting rid of Rishi Sunak now would be an even bigger mistake. The Conservative Party cannot keep changing leaders. We must support the leader we have.

“I support Rishi Sunak, let me be clear on that. The Tory Party would be a toast if we changed leaders again, and we should support the leader we have. But that does not mean that we agree with him on every policy.”

Mr Rees-Mogg – who left the cabinet when Mr Sunak came to power in October – was one of the speakers at a conference held by the Conservative Democratic Organization on Saturday.

The pressure group was founded by disillusioned supporters of Mr Johnson after he and then Liz Truss were forced out of number 10 despite being elected by party members. A number of key figures have publicly pushed for Johnson’s return.

“The people who screwed up are the MPs, not members of our party,” Rees-Mogg said at the conference.

He described Johnson as the “most successful electoral gain” the Tories had, adding that he had been “removed from the members without even your leave”.

Latest stories