The Telegraph has hit out at “bitter” and “deluded” Remainers for refusing to accept that Britain has led the way in standing up to Russia.
Associate editor Camilla Tominey said the Ukraine crisis has “humiliated the EU” as Britain, freed from the shackles of the European bloc, leads the way in pushing forward plans to ban access to the Swift banking system as well “sanctioning more Russian assets that the US and EU combined”.
She said: “The truth is the EU has been at best an irrelevance during this catastrophe. It has been excruciatingly slow to react (in part, because so many of its members are compromised by their links to Moscow).
“So, no, this crisis hasn’t shown how great the EU is, as some deluded Remainers have alleged. On the contrary, it has shown the extraordinary power and value of nation states, like Britain, like Poland and like Ukraine.”
Earlier this week foreign secretary Liz Truss admitted the UK has been ‘slower’ on Russian sanctions, blaming the House of Lords for making relevant post-Brexit legislation more ‘onerous’.
Asked if the EU had been “more nimble” to date on sanctions than the UK, Truss said: “What I am saying is that the legislation in the EU, Canada and the US is less onerous than our legislation.”
The EU is today set to slam Moscow with a new raft of trade sanctions, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Friday at the EU leaders’ summit in Versailles.
“Tomorrow, we will take a fourth package of measures to further isolate Russia and drain the resources it uses to finance this barbaric war,” von der Leyen said.
The new sanctions package is not yet published, but the Commission president outlined key sectors that will be hit.
“We will ban the export of any EU luxury goods from our countries to Russia, as a direct blow to the Russian elite,” she announced.
The bloc is also banning imports “of key goods in the iron and steel sector” from Russia. The EU expects the move to cut off “billions of export revenues” for Russia.
The UK Government has also been condemned by French president Emmanuel Macron for failing to live up to its “grand statements” on helping Ukrainian refugees.
Speaking at the end of the summit, Mr Macron reportedly criticised Britain’s visa policy which required applicants to make them in person in Brussels or Paris.
He said: “Despite all the grand statements… the British government continued to apply current rules that meant they did not welcome Ukrainian refugees who wanted to reach British soil saying they have to travel hundreds of kilometres in order to apply for a visa.
“I would hope that the Ukrainian men and women who have lived through horror and crossed Europe to reach their families on UK territory will be better treated.”