Liz Truss' green light for Brits to fight in Ukraine 'actually illegal', Tory MP says

27 February 2022, 13:48

David Davis points out Truss' call to arms breaks British law

By Seán Hickey

David Davis points out to this caller that the Foreign Secretary's show of support for Brits to go and fight in Ukraine is illegal.

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The former Brexit Secretary was taking the calls of LBC listeners with Iain Dale after calling for the UK and NATO allies to introduce a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

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David Davis was echoing the calls of Ukrainians in the UK who have been protesting the Russian invasion, as citizens and the military continue to stand firmly against Putin's onslaught.

Caller Ama asked Mr Davis about Foreign Secretary Liz Truss' encouragement of Brits to go and help defend Ukraine, wondering if there was a double standard to be seen given that people who wanted to fight against President Assad in Syria were threatened with criminal action.

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Liz Truss told BBC, when asked if British people should go to fight in Ukraine: "That is something people can make their own decisions about. The people of Ukraine are fighting for freedom and democracy, not just for Ukraine but for the whole of Europe.

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"Absolutely, if people want to support that struggle I would support them in doing that."

"I think actually it's illegal to go and fight in a foreign war these days", Mr Davis said, recalling the Foreign Enlistment Act of 1870, which prohibits Brits fighting in foreign wars against countries the UK is at peace with.

"There are certainly laws restricting who you can go and fight for already", Mr Davis went on, noting that "people fought on various sides of the Spanish Civil war without being penalised when they came back".

He concluded by telling Iain that "we have to think pretty hard" about whether we should advocate for Brits to fight on the Ukrainian frontline.