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Jeremy Hunt rebuked by Latvian ambassador for saying EU membership is like being occupied by the USSR


The Overseas Secretary has been rebuked by the Latvian ambassador after he used a speech at Conservative convention to match EU membership to being occupied by the us.

Baiba Braže reacted cooly to Jeremy Hunt’s incendiary tackle, stating that the us had “ruined lives of three generations” in her nation whereas EU membership had introduced “prosperity, equality, development, respect”.

Latvia was certainly one of a number of Baltic states to be annexed by the us within the 1940s and later included into it as a constituent republic. After gaining its independence in 1990 it sought EU membership, lastly becoming a member of in 2004 after an amazing referendum consequence.

A string of senior British diplomats additionally condemned Mr Hunt’s feedback. Lord Ricketts, a former head of the Overseas Workplace, mentioned Mr Hunt’s declare was “garbage unworthy of a British Overseas Secretary”.

The peer’s successor as Britain’s chief diplomat, Simon Fraser, mentioned he agreed together with his predecessor and that the Overseas Secretary had displayed a “stunning failure of judgement”.

Responding to a journalist reporting Mr Hunt’s phrases on social media, Latvian ambassador Mr Braže mentioned: “Simply to your data – Soviets killed, deported, exiled and imprisoned lots of of 1000’s of Latvia’s inhabitants after the unlawful occupation in 1940, and ruined lives of three generations, whereas the EU has introduced prosperity, equality, development, respect.”

Former Latvian president Andris Okay. Berzins additionally appeared troubled by the speech, re-posting a remark stating that Mr Hunt’s phrases have been “repulsive and beneath him”.

Simply to your data – Soviets killed, deported, exiled and imprisoned lots of of 1000’s of Latvia’s inhabitants after the unlawful occupation in 1940, and ruined lives of three generations, whereas the EU has introduced prosperity, equality, development, respect.

Baiba Braže, Latvian ambassador to UK

The feedback are prone to trigger widespread anger throughout the EU at a time in talks when Britain desperately wants allies on the European Council. Donald Tusk, the president of the physique, was lively as an anti-Soviet pupil chief in Gdańsk below Poland’s communist authorities – on the time a shopper state of the us.

Mr Tusk himself has mentioned that the “powerful and in reality uncompromising” stance struck by the British Authorities, particularly Theresa Might, had pushed EU leaders into hardening their very own place and rejecting outright her Chequers Brexit commerce plan.

Mr Hunt had informed convention delegates: “What occurred to the arrogance and beliefs of the European dream? The EU was set as much as defend freedom. It was the Soviet Union that stopped individuals leaving.

“The lesson from historical past is evident: If you happen to flip the EU membership into a jail, the will to get out received’t diminish. It can develop and we received’t be the one prisoner that may wish to escape.”

The EU has constantly mentioned it respects the Brexit referendum consequence and that Britain might be leaving on March 29 2019 barring a change of coronary heart from UK politicians.


The Impartial has launched its #FinalSay marketing campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the ultimate Brexit deal.

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