Jacob Rees-Mogg claims the UK can only help Ukraine because of Brexit

Jacob Rees-Mogg has found a new Brexit dividend - Britain's ability to support Ukraine.

In an interview with GB News, the former minister ruffled feathers by claiming leaving the EU helped the UK support Ukraine against Russia's invasion of the country.

He said: "Had we been a member of the European Union in February of this year [when Russia invaded the country] under the doctrine of sincere cooperation we would not actually have been able to do what we did to arm Ukraine, to help Ukraine and to set a framework that has allowed Ukraine to be so successful".

"That is a really important consequence of not being in the European Union and not being subject to sincere cooperation".

But people disagreed with him. Journalist Nick Tyrone said: "Rees-Mogg’s idea that had we still been in the EU we would not have been able to help Ukraine, militarily or otherwise, is completely incorrect. Rees-Mogg is confused at best here."

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SNP MP Chris Law said: "Lies, lies and more damn lies…."

And King's Counsel lawyer Jessica Simor tweeted: "Everything he says in this interview is a lie or a distortion that amounts to a lie. Stunning. And you can see he knows he’s lying."

The principal he was speaking about says: "Pursuant to the principle of sincere cooperation, the Union and the Member States shall, in full mutual respect, assist each other in carrying out tasks which flow from the Treaties.

"The Member States shall take any appropriate measure, general or particular, to ensure fulfilment of the obligations arising out of the Treaties or resulting from the acts of the institutions of the Union.

"The Member States shall facilitate the achievement of the Union's tasks and refrain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the Union's objectives."

Elsewhere during the interview, Rees-Mogg said Matt Hancock was “ill advised” to appear on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

"However I think the treatment he is getting has gone beyond good fun and become deeply unpleasant," he said.

"And it rather worries me that people think it is funny to humiliate somebody in this way.

“I think it is a regrettable society side of our culture and I think it's gone from being, ‘Matt Hancock has gone into the jungle, let's tease him a bit, to something really rather unpleasant.

“I’m not too comfortable with what is being reported as to the way he's being treated. I can't say I've ever watched the programme, but I've certainly read the newspapers about it. And I think it's just gone too far and has become unpleasant.”

He also sucked up to Boris Johnson, as usual. Asked if he could envisage the return of Boris Johnson, he said: “Well, I was encouraging his return a couple of weeks ago, just a couple of weeks ago.

“It was a mistake to get rid of him in July and I thought it would have been marvellous to have brought him back in late October or early November whenever precisely it was.

“He is a very interesting figure that it's very rare to have his type of charisma.

“It's something political parties are lucky to get once in a generation. Tony Blair probably had it and Margaret Thatcher had it, an extraordinary visceral connection with the electorate.

“And Boris has that in spades and people stopped their cars to get out to see him. He connects with people in a way that other politicians don’t."

It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election. And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.

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