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Apologise now! BBC faces furious demands after comparing Brexit plan to Russian invasion

The broadcaster sparked outrage yesterday when it crudely suggested the measures being taken by the Government to protect Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom were akin to Putin’s barbaric war. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was left stunned by the comments when quizzed on the UK’s Brexit plan live on air by Mishal Husain on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Furious Tory MPs are now demanding the BBC apologise for the remarks.

Senior backbencher Peter Bone told “It bears no relationship to the truth whatsoever and is insulting.

“First of all, the British Government doesn’t believe it’s breaking any international law.

“Secondly, the barbaric, unjustified invasion of Ukraine by the Russians, how it could possibly be compared to the British Government is unbelievable.

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“For the BBC to do it is appalling. They should apologise immediately.”

Attorney General Suella Braverman also criticised the BBC today, telling Radio 4’s World at One: “I think that’s a BBC view, if you don’t mind me saying, that the UK Government is somehow always malevolent and the EU is always acting as the honest broker and the good guys.”

On Monday the Government published legislation that will be voted on in parliament to overrule aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Ministers insist the Bill is legal because it is necessary to protect the integrity of the United Kingdom.

However, the EU has vowed to challenge the new law in the courts saying it breaches an international agreement.

Taking the EU’s argument yesterday morning, Ms Husain asked Ms Truss yesterday morning: “What are you going to do next time you need to have stern words with a country like Russia? – telling them to act within the rule of law and they hit back saying ‘well you’re not willing to honour your agreements’.”

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Struck by the host’s words, the Foreign Secretary responded: “To be frank, I think that is an extraordinary comparison.”

She added: “We are acting as a United Kingdom Government to protect political stability, within our own country and we are able to do that within the law.

“Yesterday we published our legal position setting that out.

That is our priority and the Protocol starts itself by talking about the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.

“It’s clear the east-west strand of that agreement is being undermined.

“That is why the responsibility of the United Kingdom is to deal with this issue, to take the steps necessary to move forward and not allow this situation to drift.

“Because the people of Northern Ireland deserve a government and we need to sort these issues out.

“I think that is an extraordinary comparison for you to make.”

The BBC has been contacted for comment.



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