While Brexit Britain closes the door on Putin and Russia. The EU remains ineffective and a disgrace.

Graham Charles Lear
6 min readAug 27, 2022


While the European movement headed by Lord Adonis and with EU money is still campaigning for Brexit Britain to rejoin the EU, this report and article show both the benefits of being OUT of the EU and the utter disgrace that is the EU. Along with the disgrace that is the European Movement led by Andrew Adenoids and the Rejoiners

EU27 continue to fund Putin’s war with £15bn per month

The truly shocking disparity between the EU’s sanctions on Putin’s Russia, compared with the UK’s Russian sanctions.

The latest trade figures for June 2022 show the massive and growing flow of funds into Putin’s Russia from the EU and the dwindling trickle from Brexit Britain.

Payments for goods from Russia, June 2022

  • EU27: £15.3bn
  • UK: £0.03bn

[Sources: EU Commission and ONS, import figures released Aug 2022. Euros converted into pounds at €1=£0.85.]

EU27’s ever-increasing payments to Putin’s Russia

Analysed goods import data over recent years, using the EU Commission’s official data and comparing it with the official data from the Office for National Statistics. and using the June figures for the last ‘normal’ year of trading pre-Covid (June 2019) and comparing them with the latest figures (for June 2022).EU27’s and UK’s payments to Russia

  • EU27 % change, June 2019 versus June 2022: +61.6%
  • UK % change, June 2019 versus June 2022: 98.2%

[Sources: EU Commission and ONS, import figures released Aug 2022.]

The independent UK has been able to impose effective sanctions, unlike the EU

Whilst a member of the European Union, the United Kingdom’s trade policies were the preserve of the EU Commission.

Following Brexit, the UK Government has been free to pursue its own independent trade policy. (This does not apply to Northern Ireland as a result of the NI Protocol.) Below I summarise the actions that have been taken by the UK Government since Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine at the end of February.

UK’s sanctions on buying from Putin’s Russia

  • 8 March 2022 — phasing out of oil imports by the end of 2022
  • 25 March 2022 — additional 35% import tariff on a range of goods implemented
  • 6 April 2022 — import ban announced on all iron and steel products
  • 21 April 2022 — import bans announced on silver, wood products and high-end goods
  • 1 June 2022 — further goods subject to the additional 35% tariff
  • 26 June 2022 — import ban announced on gold

As a result of all the above, imports of goods from Russia decreased to £33 million in June 2022 and are at the lowest level since records began in January 1997. There were no imports of fuels from Russia in June 2022 — again this is for the first time since records began.

The EU’s sanctions on Putin’s Russia have been delayed, flawed, compromised by internal disagreements, and ineffective. The EU27 are spending 62% more with Russia than it did before the Covid pandemic.

Yes, part of this is down to the rising cost of energy but this is no excuse, as the EU should have been weaning itself off Russian gas, oil and coal following Putin’s invasion of Crimea in 2014. It didn’t.

Conversely, the newly-independent United Kingdom has been free to act — and act it has done. Putin’s Russia is now receiving only 2% of what they were receiving from the UK pre-pandemic. With the UK being the fifth-largest economy in the world this is significant.

Wars are expensive — not only in terms of people’s lives but also in the cash needed to fund them. Putin’s source of cash from Brexit Britain has virtually dried up completely.

Meanwhile, Putin is still able to fund his illegal invasion of Ukraine, courtesy of more than €18bn euros per month being received from the EU27.

I would say this to the European movement headed by Lord Adonis and all its followers who are Rejoiners.

You may be forgiven in some respects for wanting to rejoin the EU with which you all grew up in, many of you know of nothing else, it's a wrench I know to leave what you all regard as family. However, sometimes the head of the family can be an odious creature who inflicts much damage on his or her children.

Knowing now what you have just read, can you if you are a Rejoiner honestly with a hand on your heart still want to rejoin such a monster that is prolonging a war that is killing hundreds of Ukrainians both military and civilians and inflicting untold damage on economies worldwide?

If you do then I honestly say to you that you both deserve each other and the anger that comes with it from decent normal people.

One of the worse countries in the EU for ignoring sanctions put in place against Russia is France under President Macron. Economic sanctions from Western nations were meant to send a message to President Putin: Stop the war and withdraw from Ukraine. The French have been ignoring world opinion.

Russia’s French Connection

  • The Franco-Russia Chamber of commerce reported on 22 March that, “Not a single French enterprise left Russia” following the announcement of EU economic sanctions
  • TotalEnergies SE continues to trade in the oil and gas sector in Russia
  • In comparison, BP PLC, Shell PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp have all pulled out of Russia
  • Car manufacturer Renault — 15% owned by the French Government — closed its Russian plant because of shortages of parts but then reopened it with production starting up again
  • Renault owns Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ which includes the Lada marque. One factory of 30,000 closed temporarily but is open again and the wider indirect workforce of Renault in Russia is put at 500,000
  • Retailers Auchan, Leroy Merlin and Decathlon are all are all part of the Adeo Group, owned by the Mulliez family, worth an estimated $24 billion US. All are continuing to trade from their outlets

Philippe Zimmermann, CEO, Adeo (owner of Leroy Merlin and Bricocenter — the largest DIY holding company in Europe)

“There is no reason to condemn our Russian teams for a war they did not choose. There is no reason to turn away 45,000 employees representing more than 100,000 people with their families. There is no reason to stop being useful to Russians who need to repair, insulate, insure, protect and light their homes. We sell them essentials. It is our responsibility as employers and companies.”

- Adeo’s chief executive, Philippe Zimmermann in a video address to employees, 23 March 2022

  • The Wall Street Journal reported a spokesman for Auchan explaining that 95% of its products in Russia are produced domestically, “including wheels of Camembert cheese made from Normandy cows that one of its suppliers moved from France to Russia after the country’s 2014 annexation of Crimea triggered an initial wave of sanctions” — justifying sanctions-busting because it had busted the sanctions previously
  • Auchan has 311 retail outlets in Russia employing some 40,000 employees. Leroy Merlin has 112 stores and Decathlon has 60 outlets
  • Home improvement retailer Leroy Merlin closed its six stores in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion
  • Meanwhile, in Russia, its 112 stores remained open and it refuses to comment on reports that it is looking to expand its inventory to take up the space left by vacating Western companies
  • When the Russians bombed a Kyiv shopping mall last week the Leroy Merlin store was turned to rubble and its security guard killed, leaving a widow and child
  • The world’s largest yoghurt maker — Danone — continues to trade in Russia, saying, “We have a responsibility to the people we feed”
  • According to a French media report, 35 companies from France’s blue-chip CAC 40 index continue to trade actively in Russia
  • In comparison Marks & Spencer has stopped supplying all goods to the 42 Turkish-owned outlets in Russia that are part of a franchise license agreement. M&S states it is in negotiations with its Turkish partner currently

French companies choose Russian profits before Ukrainian lives

Liz Truss is right to say the jury is still out on President Macron. He could have put a stop to it. Instead, he did nothing. It's only right that the world knows what France under Macron is doing


Sources: EU Commission | Office for National Statistics



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.