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Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski pledges to check facts in Marshall Plan row

By Mark Andrews | Shrewsbury | Politics | Published:

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski says he is consulting three leading academics about the extent to which Britain benefited from American aid after the Second World War.

Daniel Kawczynski

But Mr Kawczynski says he stands by his comments that Germany received far more post-war support than the UK.

Mr Kawczynski found himself at the centre of a social media row over the weekend after when he accused the EU of ingratitude towards Britain for its role in the Second World War.

He posted on Twitter: "Britain helped to liberate half of Europe, she mortgaged herself up to the eye balls in the process. No Marshall Plan for us only for Germany.

"We gave up war reparations in 1990. We put £370 billion into EU since we joined. Watch the way ungrateful EU treats us now. We will remember."

But his comments attracted fierce criticism that the UK actually received almost 3.3 billion dollars under the plan, making it the biggest recipient of the aid – getting more than double the 1.5 billion dollars handed to West Germany.

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Warren Docktor, an American expert in British history from Aberystwyth University, said: "Dan is categorically wrong about the Marshall Plan."

Mr Dockter added that Britain received 26 per cent of Marshall Plan donations, more than any other country, while France received 18 per cent and West Germany received 11 per cent.

Mr Kawczynski said he was surprised by the reaction to his comments.

He said: "I will be talking to three leading professors at Cambridge University to get a definitive answer to this, but my understanding is that the United Kingdom received loans that were being paid back until 2006 and 2007."

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Mr Kawczynski said Britain had also spent vast amounts of money defending western Europe during the Cold War, with 4,000 British soldiers based in Germany.

"The UK also provided Europe with its nuclear deterrent during the Cold War, and who paid for that? Again, it was the British taxpayer."

Mr Kawczynski said being Polish born gave him a different perspective about the debt the rest of Europe owed the UK.

"I feel as somebody who came to this country from Poland, I do see things in a slightly different way," he said.

"I feel a clear sense of what Britain has done for the rest of Europe, including Poland."

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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