Britain has had a leading role in the West’s fight against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sending weapons, taking a hard line on Russian oil and gas, and cutting import tariffs for Ukrainian goods. Brexit has enabled the UK to act faster to target Russia according to Bate Toms, chairman of the British-Ukrainian Chambers of Commerce.
He claimed the UK had been able to easily respond to the crisis thanks to the country’s position outside the EU.
Mr Toms told Politico last month: “Britain is now again in its historic role protecting Europe from conquest, freed from having to get along within the EU.
“Historically, the Duke of Marlborough, the Duke of Wellington and Winston Churchill saved Europe from itself, and the UK has this role again.”
The UK’s International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan also argued that Brexit had helped the country’s response in enabling the UK to cut tariffs on Ukrainian goods.
She told Politico last month that such a deal had been able to be executed “at pace” through the free trade agreement.
As a result, Express.co.uk asked readers’ opinions on whether they thought Brexit had helped the UK with its response to the crisis.
In a poll that ran from 11am on Thursday, May 5, to 2pm on Friday, May 6, Express.co.uk asked: “Has Brexit helped in the fight to battle Putin and support Ukraine?”
In total, 1,326 people cast their votes and dozens shared their thoughts in the comments below the accompanying article.
Overall, 89 percent (1,177 people) said “yes”, Brexit had helped while 11 percent (142 people) answered “no”.
Just one percent (seven people) said they did not know either way.
Many agreed that Brexit enabled the UK to act quicker to support Ukraine than it would have been able to inside the bloc.
Username JL77 said: “Absolutely we couldn’t have even [done] half of what we have done if we were still in the EU. The EU still can’t agree on anything!”
Username ForsdykeMontague said: “Yes of course, the EU is a large bureaucracy run by a committee which is inherently slow.”
And Username Emma Royds wrote: “We were first and leading the way.”
Others thought that being in the European Union would have made no difference.
Username Jonathan Mills wrote: “Of course not. In this matter it has no relevance.”
Meanwhile, username Geoffi commented: “I have my doubts. We would still have reacted forthright to what’s happened, even if we were in the EU and Brussels wouldn’t have been able to prevent us.”
And username crw_1962 said: “All the things the UK did they could have done as well while within the EU. Nothing they did violated the EU laws.
“The true leaders, Macron and Biden, are driving the fight against Putin while the UK is on the sideline.”