‘Shame on you!’ BBC audience member sparks outrage after blaming Ukraine war on Brexit

BBC Question Time: Audience members slam armed forces cuts

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A BBC audience member on Question Time last night sparked outrage after trying to connect the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war to Brexit. The man told the Question Time panel that Britain should be “spending more on things like the armed forces and less on things like Brexit” in wake of the conflict. However, one of the panellists, Anne McElvoy, shut this argument down, saying it was time to put “those rows on Brexit” to one side as Europe faces war.

The audience member said: “Isn’t the problem that the UK has cut and cut and cut the size of our armed forces over the last decade?

“So no wonder other countries don’t see us as having the same strength as we used to have.

“Maybe we should be spending more on things like the armed forces and less on things like Brexit.”

This raised eyebrows among the panel, as Ms McElvoy, executive editor at the Economist, responded: “I would say, Britain does pay its NATO dues.

“We pay properly what is asked of us there.”

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She then picked up his Brexit remark, saying: “The B-word had to come up though didn’t it?

“I just wanted to say one thing on this. Everyone has their view on Brexit.

“But this is the time where we can put those rows, those fissures, which I know are very deeply held, to one side.

“There is plenty to be sorted out on Brexit, plenty that needs to be addressed.

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“But I think we have indulged ourselves in getting ourselves in arguments and we are almost blinding ourselves to the bigger picture. Now we have had this rude reminder.

“Today, the head of the German army has written a screed complaining that he has been left with an army incapable of fighting.

“In Germany of all places, the biggest, the richest country in Europe – so it’s not just a British problem.”

The remark also sparked ire on social media, with @NasherNigel responding: “Can’t you do both?

“Or is spending many on our military while funding billions to the EU completely different?”


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@cherbilbo tweeted: “Do shut up! Obviously, a pathetic Remoaner who thinks every problem is because of Brexit! Grow up, & respect a democratic vote!”

@OliverSteinme16 added: “In fact, we have done Brexit and are now spending more on our armed forces.

“Britain has been strong defending since WW2 against Germany and now it is stronger with other global players. You get your facts right. Shame on you.”

This comes after Vladimir Putin ordered troops to enter Ukraine in an “all-out invasion”.

Russian armed forces are now entering the capital, Kiev.

However, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has insisted that “no one is planning to occupy Ukraine”.

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