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Hunt compares EU to 'prison' of Soviet Union

By Greg Heffer, political reporter, in Birmingham
Jeremy Hunt has compared the EU to the "prison" of the Soviet Union as it tries to prevent member states from leaving.
In a notable speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, the foreign secretary warned Brussels against rejecting the "hand of friendship" offered by Theresa May.He also used his address on Sunday to call for unity within the Tory party, with Mr Hunt cautioning continued Tory division could risk the "wrong Brexit, a Corbyn Brexit or perhaps no Brexit at all".Despite backing Remain at the 2016 EU referendum, Mr Hunt has since stated he would now vote Leave due to the "arrogance" of the EU during divorce negotiations.

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Increasingly viewed as among the favourites to replace Mrs May as Tory leader, Mr Hunt delivered a crowd-pleasing speech in which he included both his attack on Brussels and references to former Conservative prime ministers Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.Delivering the stern message to the EU, the UK's top diplomat said: "At the moment you seem to think the way to keep the club together is to punish a member who leaves."Not just with economic disruption. But even by breaking up the United Kingdom with a border down the Irish Sea."What happened to the confidence and ideals of the European dream[/img]
"If you reject the hand of friendship offered by our prime minister, you turn your back on the partnership that has given Europe more security, more freedom and more opportunities than ever in history."
Hunt compares EU to 'prison' of Soviet Union

Image:
Jeremy Hunt warned the EU against turning into a 'prison'
Also delivering a fierce rejection of the EU's plan for Northern Ireland to effectively remain in the bloc's customs union to prevent a hard border in Ireland, Mr Hunt channelled Mrs Thatcher to add: "If the only way to deal with the UK leaving is to try to force its break up, as someone much more distinguished than me once said, the answer is 'no, no, no'."
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