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After Soviet comparison, May says the EU is not the USSR

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May walks to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Britain September 30, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(reuters_tickers)

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday that the European Union was not like the Soviet Union after her foreign secretary provoked anger by likening the 28-member bloc to the USSR.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt cautioned the EU on Sunday that it was set up to protect freedoms but that the lesson from Soviet history was that if you turned it into a prison then the desire to leave would increase.

When asked about Hunt's comment, May said: "As I sit around that table in the European Union there are countries there who used to be part of the Soviet Union, they are now democratic countries and I can tell you that the two organisations are not the same."

(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; editing by Michael Holden)

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