EU chief says British EU-Soviet comparison unwise, insulting

EU chief says British EU-Soviet comparison unwise, insulting
British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt addresses a meeting of the United Nations Security Council during the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU Council President Donald Tusk says a British official’s comparison of the European Union to the Soviet Union is “as unwise as it is insulting.”

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said over the weekend that the EU shouldn’t try to prevent a smooth Brexit because “it was the Soviet Union that stopped people leaving.”

Hunt’s analogy drew criticism across the EU, which has formerly communist countries and former Soviet republics as members.

Tusk said: “The Soviet Union was about prisons and gulags, borders and walls, violence against citizens and neighbors. The EU is about freedom and human rights, prosperity and peace. Life without fear.”

He added that as a Pole who lived under the Soviet sphere of influence for half his life, “I know what I am talking about.”