British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said that his country did not vote in favor of Brexit due to pressure from Russia in the wake of allegations that the United Kingdom failed to investigate interference from Moscow during the 2016 vote.
His comments come in the wake of claims from British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab who said last week that Russia attempted to interfere in the country’s 2019 general election by leaking sensitive documents about a free trade agreement with the U.S. on social media.
“The people of this country didn’t vote to leave the EU because of pressure from Russia or Russian interference - they voted because they wanted to take back control,” Mr. Johnson told lawmakers, as quoted by Reuters.
“It is the UK that leads the world in caution about Russian interference,” Mr. Johnson said.
Mr. Raab last week pointed specifically to “sensitive documents regarding the free trade agreement between the UK and the USA were illegally obtained before the general elections of 2019 and distributed on the Internet through the platform of the Reddit social network.”
American intelligence agencies have also declared that Russia conducted operations designed to put President Trump in the White House in 2016. Top Democratic congressional leaders this week have called for an all-member defensive counterintelligence briefing on foreign efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.