Pro-Brexit Tory MP criticised over false statements about Europe and Britain after Second World War

Daniel Kawczynski claims the UK received no Marshall Plan aid as it was 'only for Germany'

Sunday 03 February 2019 01:38
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Daniel Kawczynski on his grandfather's brother who was killed for helping Jewish families during the war

A pro-Brexit Tory MP has been criticised after making false statements about Europe and Britain after the Second World War.

Daniel Kawczynski claimed in a tweet that there was "no Marshall Plan for us only for Germany", referring to American payments of more than £12bn approved in 1948 to help rebuild Europe after the end of the war.

"Britain helped to liberate half of Europe. She mortgaged herself up to eye balls in process. No Marshall Plan for us only for Germany. We gave up war reparations in 1990. We put £370 billion into EU since we joined. Watch the way ungrateful EU treats us now. We will remember," he tweeted.

Hundreds of people reacted on the social media site and pointed out that Mr Kawczynski was factually incorrect.

Dr Warren Dockter, an American expert in British history and lecturer in international politics at Aberystwyth University, quoted from The Marshall Plan: Fifty Years After, a seminal academic book on the subject, and said Britain received 26 per cent of Marshall Plan aid, more than any other country.

France received 18 per cent and West Germany received 11 per cent, he said.

"In addition to Marshall Plan money, the UK received favourable loans and grants on top of the Marshall Plan aid," he said.

Britain made its last repayment on the Marshall Plan loans in 2006.

The source of Mr Kawczynski's "£370 billion" claim is not clear and he did not respond to requests for comment.

Some of Mr Kawczynski's political colleagues were among the hundreds of people highlighting his error on social media.

Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: "Is this a parody account?

"Britain received billions from the Marshall Plan and significantly more than West Germany or any other nation. Pick up a history book and you will learn that this brand of jingoistic nationalism is what tore our continent apart twice in one century."

Irish politician Thomas Byrne wrote: "Totally false tweet from a British MP about the Marshall Plan and the UK."

This is not the first time Mr Kawczynski has been taken to task for inaccurate claims he has made on social media.

In September 2018, he posted a photograph of himself holding lemons in a supermarket alongside a caption claiming the "EU protectionist racket means inefficient EU growers [are] preferred to other non EU Mediterranean growers, due to massive tariffs imposed by EU".

Tariffs are taxes placed on imported goods to make domestic produce more appealing by making imports more expensive.

But a self-described "tariff nerd" and "Remainiac" pointed out that large amounts of the UK's supply of citrus fruits are imported from countries like South Africa and Mexico which have a free trade deal with the EU and therefore 0 per cent tariffs.

Theresa May is due to report back to Parliament on her negotiations with the EU on 13 February, with a further series of votes by MPs expected the following day.

Additional reporting from agencies

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