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Russia might not have invaded Ukraine without Brexit, says Guy Verhofstadt

Mr. ‘Hof’ Verhofstadt has long called for an EU army to keep autocrats like Putin at bay. In 2018, he called on the EU to make itself capable of launching missile strikes after the UK, France and the US attacked Syria.

“This war, this brutal invasion, started with Putin and Russia,” he added. “This is really Putin’s attempt to restore the old Soviet Union. The only difference is that the Communist Party is being replaced by his own henchmen.”

Mr. Verhofstadt’s influence has waned since years of Brexit negotiations, when he was a ghost for dropouts. He no longer manages the European Parliament’s relations with the UK or the Liberal group in the European Parliament.

Rishi Sunaka’s spokesman said: “Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine has nothing to do with Brexit and in fact I think the invasion showed the UK’s commitment to European security.

“From the beginning, we have worked very closely with our European allies, which is a real demonstration of the UK’s continued commitment to the security of the continent. It won’t change. So it is obvious that to claim the opposite is nonsense.”

Gavin Barwell was Theresa May’s chief of staff when she was prime minister during the early years of the Brexit negotiations. He tweeted:

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