Volodymyr Zelensky addresses UK MPs in the House of Commons – Live
Zelensky echoes Churchill in Commons: ‘We will fight for our land, whatever the cost’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed British MPs in the House of Commons via video link with a speech that echoed that of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
In his speech, Mr Zelensky thanked Boris Johnson for the UK’s help so far, but called for more to be done. He said: “Please increase the sanctions pressure on this country [Russia] and please recognize this country as a terrorist country.
Meanwhile, Priti Patel was condemned by MPs from all parties for telling the Commons on Monday that a visa center had been set up in Calais to help Ukrainian refugees trying to enter the UK – a assertion now known to be false.
Roger Gale, a senior MP from the Home Secretary’s own party, went so far as to suggest she should resign over it. “The Minister of the Interior said yesterday that a visa center had already been set up in Calais,” he said. “That was wrong and under any normal administration it would be a matter of resignation.”
The news comes after No10 admitted Ukrainians trapped in Calais would have to travel 70 miles to Lille to find out if they are even eligible for a UK visa, despite Ms Patel’s claims 24 hours earlier.
Key excerpts from President Zelensky’s speech
“Mr. Speaker, all MPs, ladies and gentlemen, I speak to everyone in the UK and to everyone in the country with a great history.
“I address you as a citizen, as a president, of a great country as well, with a dream and a great effort.
“I would like to talk to you about the 13 days of war, the war that we did not start and that we did not want. However we have to fight this war, we don’t want to lose what we have, what is ours, our country Ukraine…
“The same way you didn’t want to lose your country when the Nazis started fighting your country and you had to fight for Britain…
“Ukraine was not looking to have this war. Ukraine did not seek to become great, but it became great during this war. We are the country that saves people despite having to fight one of the greatest armies in the world. You have to fight helicopters, rockets…
“The question for us now is to be or not to be. Oh no, that Shakespearean question. For 13 days that question could have been asked but now I can give you a definitive answer. It’s definitely yes, to be.
“And I would like to remind you of the words that the UK has heard before, which are important again. We will not give up and we will not lose.
“We will fight to the end, at sea, in the air. We will continue to fight for our land, whatever the cost. We will fight in the forests, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets…
“We seek your help, for the help of the Western Counties.
“We are grateful for this help and I am grateful to you Boris.
“Please increase the pressure of sanctions against this country [Russia] and please recognize this country as a terrorist country.
“Please make sure our Ukrainian skies are safe.
“Please make sure you are doing what needs to be done and what is stipulated by the greatness of your country.
“Glory to Ukraine and glory to the United Kingdom.”
Eleanor SlyMarch 8, 2022 5:47 p.m.
Mr Zelensky’s speech similar to Churchill’s
In his address to British MPs, Mr Zelensky said: “We will not give up and we will not lose.
“We will fight to the end in the sea, in the air.
“We will fight for our land, whatever the cost.
“We will fight in the forests, in the fields, on the shores, in the streets.”
The speech references one of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s great wartime speeches, which was also delivered in the Commons.
Eleanor SlyMarch 8, 2022 5:17 p.m.
Fight against Russia is like Britain’s fight against Nazis, Zelensky tells parliament
In a video address to both houses of parliament, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky compared his country’s fight against Russian invaders to Britain’s defense against Nazi attacks.
Eleanor SlyMarch 8, 2022 5:14 p.m.
“We are grateful for the help,” Mr. Zelensky added.
He then thanked Boris Johnson for his help and called on him to continue supporting Ukraine.
Eleanor SlyMarch 8, 2022 5:11 p.m.
“We have to fight one of the greatest armies in the world.”
“To be or not to be”, declared the Ukrainian president, before adding, “we will not give up”, “we will continue to fight for our land, at all costs”.
Eleanor SlyMarch 8, 2022 5:10 p.m.
More than 50 children have been killed in this war, says Mr. Zelensky.
“These people took them away from us,” he said, referring to the Russians.
Eleanor SlyMarch 8, 2022 5:09 p.m.
Mr Zelensky says he is talking to everyone in the UK.
He says Ukrainians don’t want to lose what they have, just like British citizens didn’t want to lose their country when it was attacked by the Nazis.
Eleanor SlyMarch 8, 2022 5:06 p.m.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky began his speech in the House of Commons
Mr. Zelensky is the first foreign leader to address MPs in the chamber of the House of Commons.
Members can follow a live translation via special headphones.
Eleanor SlyMarch 8, 2022 5:04 p.m.
Labor argues UK will phase out imports of Russian oil
Labor has announced it backs the decision to phase out imports of Russian oil into the UK by the end of the year.
Shadow Secretary of State for Climate and Net Zero, Ed Miliband said in a statement:
“It is the right decision to ban Russian oil imports. We must do everything possible to isolate the Putin regime.
“This decision strengthens the case for additional measures to tackle the cost of living crisis at home. Rising energy bills are already a concern for families across the country, which is why Labor has proposed a series of practical, costed measures, including a windfall tax on oil and gas producers.
He added, “This approach also underscores the need for a decisive move towards clean energy to improve our resilience as a country and protect us from soaring energy prices.”
Eleanor SlyMarch 8, 2022 4:58 p.m.
UK to ban Russian oil imports by end of year
The UK is to ban imports of Russian oil by the end of 2022 as part of its sanctions in response to Vladmir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, gas is not covered by the boycott, which will be phased in to give markets time to adjust.
It is understood the announcement is timed to coincide with a similar ban from US President Joe Biden. This follows Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky’s calls for the West to stop buying Russian imports, which he said amounted to “giving money to a terrorist”.
Eleanor SlyMarch 8, 2022 4:23 p.m.