London (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under fire over the weekend for comparing Ukrainians’ fight against the Russian invasion to Britain’s vote to leave the EU.
Like the Ukrainians, the British have chosen freedom with Brexit, Johnson said yesterday in his speech at the spring conference of British Conservatives.
This sparked backlash: “Boris, your words offend the Ukrainians, the British and common sense,” former EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted.
Former Brexit representative in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, called the comparison “crazy,” adding: “Brexit was about taking away freedoms and leaving the EU…Ukrainians want more freedom and join the EU!”
Tobias Ellwood, head of the UK Defense Committee and Johnson’s party colleague, tweeted: “Comparing the Ukrainian people’s fight against Putin’s tyranny to the British people’s vote damages the standard of good governance we have begun to see.” . Defeating Russian President Putin requires international unity and leadership. Britain’s Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey called Johnson a “national disgrace”.
Johnson, who has bounced back from a serious political crisis since the start of the war over his staunch support for sanctions against Russia and arms sales to Ukraine, has again raised questions about his leadership qualities. A few weeks ago, a motion of censure against his own party over alleged lockdown parties in Downing Street, the seat of government, was not unlikely. That is why police are currently investigating Johnson.