Jacob Rees-Mogg has publicly criticised Germany’s refusal to allow the UK to fly in their airspace to transport military aid to Ukraine. To Guido’s knowledge he is the first member of the government to do so publicly:
“The divisions within the west are quite serious, I mean it’s extraordinary that Germany would not allow British flights to fly over German territory to take some weapons to the Ukrainians”
This is far from the line the government’s taken thus far. At Lobby last week, the PM’s spokesperson was at pains to deny any diplomatic tensions, claiming reports Germany denied a request by the UK were “not accurate”. Press were told the UK hadn’t made a request in the first place. It was immediately pointed out the UK hadn’t made such a request because it would inevitably be rejected.
Ben Wallace almost sounded like he was defending Germany at the foreign affairs committee yesterday:
“I also want to put on the record that there’s alot of speculation about the German air route.
When we were planning the deploymentof lethal aid to Ukraine,obviously we needed to do that with asignificant amount of operational security,and therefore the timelines were tight when we decidedthat we had to clear those routes and the German system,and the indication from my planners and the impressionI had was that the German systemwould take nearly two weeks to do, and therefore there was no point asking to do that.
We did not go and ask, they did not rebuff us.Yes, it is in the public domain that the Germans arevery against the use of lethal aid in Ukraine,and we obviously have a different opinion,which is why we have done that, but no,there was no ‘we asked and you rebutted’. That is not correct.
We wanted the quickest way – I don’t mean in geography,but in clearances in order to get the weapon systems into Ukraine.”
Once again it seems a case of Rees-Mogg abandoning the official government line, though speaking total sense…