Brexiteer blames character limit for inaccuracies in tweet about Marshall Plan
PUBLISHED: 09:48 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:09 12 February 2019
Brexiteer Daniel Kawczynski has had a grilling over his recent tweets - which includes the inaccurate claims he made about funding for Britain after the Second World War.
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.
The Brexiteer looked uncomfortable under questioning from Sky News’ Adam Boulton on All Out Politics after Kawczynski insisted that the producers had assured him his tweets would not be raised.
But Boulton pleaded ignorance and insisted producers had not passed the message on.
He was firstly asked about his social media posts where he invited the Polish prime minister to intervene in the Brexit process.
“Aren’t you all a bit deluded? Let’s take your recent tweets for example, you said you wrote to the Polish prime minister asking him to block any extension to the Article 50 process. Yet you stand as a Tory MP saying you want take sovereignty back to the British parliament yet you’re writing to the prime minister of the land of your birth. Isn’t that a bit conflicted?”
Kawczynski, however, claimed that there are plenty of parliamentarians working with EU officials.
“That’s what negotiations are all about, isn’t it? Iain Duncan-Smith went over to see Juncker.
“But writing to a leader of another country, the land of your birth, asking him to block something that might be decided by the British parliament is surely unacceptable?”
The Brexiteer said it was an “argument for debate”.
Boulton would not let it drop and said it was “absurd” he was “running off to parliament.”
Kawczynski disagreed and said he was trying to represent the “will of the people” and said that MPs could “open a Pandora’s box” by extending Article 50 or holding another referendum.
The debate was opened up to fellow studio guest Lisa Nandy, the Labour MP, who was asked about the involvement of other countries in British politics. She was sympathetic to cooperation with other EU countries and said it was paramount to “good relationships”.
Conversation, however, quickly turned back to the Brexiteers’ tweet on the Marshall Plan which Kawczynski did not want to talk about.
“I was promised you wouldn’t raise that,” he said.
“I’ve got into a lot of trouble over that Marshall Plan tweet,” he continued but would not withdraw it.
“I think the people have said that it is difficult for MPs to get everything across in a limited number of characters.
“What I was trying to say is that I believe the United Kingdom did not benefit as much as other countries because of the huge loans we had to take out during the second World War. Which we only finished off paying in 2007.
“If I have caused any offence with that tweet then I apologise.”
But he still would not accept it was inaccurate, despite historians lining up to criticise his comments, instead blurring the lines again by suggesting Britain fought World World II on its own.
He insisted: “Britain did receive money under the Marshall Plan but the huge loans that she took and the massive task she took on by herself to liberate half of Europe cost her dearly. And she’s been paying those loans right up until ten years ago.”
It is the first time Kawczynski has spoken on a live broadcast about the tweets. An attempt by a radio station to ask him about the comments led to him putting the phone down.
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter