Speaking before representatives of creative industries in London this Wednesday, former Prime Minister John Major unloaded on the supporters of Brexit, urging Theresa May to offer a free vote to Conservative MPs on the final deal with the EU.
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Major proclaimed that he is "neither a Europhile nor a Eurosceptic," pointing to numerous clashes that his Conservative Government (1990-1997) had with Brussels.
"As Prime Minister, I said "No" to federal integration, "No" to the Euro Currency, and "No" to Schengen — which introduced free movement of people within the European Union but without proper control of external borders," he said.
Speaking about the fact that Brexit was a result of the nation-wide referendum, where the British electorate expressed its preference for leaving the EU, Major said that it is up to the politicians to ensure the "well-being of the people".
"Of course, the 'will of the people' can't be ignored, but Parliament has a duty also to consider the "wellbeing of the people," he proclaimed.
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"No-one voted for higher prices and poorer public services, but that is what they may get."
Controversially, Major also expressed skepticism whether Brexit was in fact the decision of the British voters, pointing out that the "will of the people… was supported by only 37 per cent of the electorate."
"Sixty-three per cent voted either in favor of membership — or did not vote at all", he highlighted.
The former prime minister even further qualified the importance of the UK electorate's views on Brexit, claiming that "the referendum was advisory only" and "no-one can truly know what ‘the will of the people' may be [by the end of the two-year transition period after Britain withdraws from the EU]."
Latest YouGov poll shows 52 percent of the British public think that Theresa May's Government should proceed with the Brexit, while only 32 percent expressed their desire to reverse the process.
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Nevertheless, Major claimed that opposing Brexit is the "patriotic" choice.
"We are all urged to be "patriotic" and get behind Brexit. But it is precisely because I am patriotic that I oppose it", the former PM said.
"I want my Country to be influential, not isolated; committed, not cut-off; a leading participant, not a bystander."
As a result, Major urged Theresa May to cave in to Brussel's pressure on sensitive issues, such as the border with the Republic of Ireland, by eliminating "the red lines", which restrict the UK's choices for Brexit and "box the Government into a corner".