Deadline for Venezuela, extension for Brexit: Jeremy Hunt’s odd concept of democracy

Deadline for Venezuela, extension for Brexit: Jeremy Hunt’s odd concept of democracy
The UK may need ‘some extra time’ on Brexit while Venezuela must arrange new elections within eight days, under threat of internationally enacted regime change, according to the British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

“I think it is true that if we ended up approving a deal in the days before March 29 then we might need some extra time to pass critical legislation,” Hunt told the BBC on Thursday. He was referring to the intractable “Irish backstop” issue that has dogged Brexit negotiations for months, as the ruling Conservative party attempts to avoid creating a permanent customs union with the EU through an open border with the Republic of Ireland.

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“But this is not going to happen in the next few days,” Hunt added. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government would have to go over such proposals with the EU in great detail, a potentially lengthy process which could necessitate yet another parliamentary vote to extend Article 50 proceedings. In fact, May herself recently said that if no deal is reached by February 13, she would table such a motion for debate the following day.

While democracy requires due diligence at home, just last week Hunt was advocating a drastically different timeline for affairs in Venezuela, calling for new presidential elections within eight days or the UK would follow its allies and officially recognize opposition leader and self-appointed president of Juan Guaidó.

Doubling down on those comments, Hunt described the self-proclaimed Venezuelan president as a “brave and courageous man,” following a telephone conversation with him on Thursday.

Also on rt.com Britain claims Maduro ‘not legitimate leader’ of Venezuela

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the foreign secretary’s peculiar understanding of democracy and deadlines – both at home in Britain and abroad in Venezuela – has come under criticism on social media.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear why the UK seems so keen to separate from the EU when its foreign policy remains firmly tethered to Brussels. On Thursday, the European Parliament called on its members to recognize Guaido as interim president. Hunt’s proclamations notwithstanding, the British government has yet to officially do so.

Actual Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has rejected London’s ultimatum, insisting instead that elections will take place as planned in 2025 – potentially before Brexit is sorted out.

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