Ex-PM John Major: Brexit terms can’t be decided by ‘tyranny of majority’
Former Conservative leader Sir John Major told guests at a private dinner that Remain voters should also decide on the terms and conditions of Britain withdrawing from the European Union.
“I hear the argument that the 48 percent of people who voted to stay should have no say in what happens,” Major said during a speech commemorating the 100th anniversary of David Lloyd George’s premiership.
“I find that very difficult to accept,” he added.
“The tyranny of the majority has never applied in a democracy and it should not apply in this particular democracy.”
Major also said that although he knew Britain would not remain a full member of the EU, he hoped it would still be allowed access to the single market, which he described as “the richest market mankind has ever seen.”
The former PM also believed there was a “perfectly credible case” for a second referendum.
Major’s comments follow several interventions by his Downing Street successor, Tony Blair, who has insisted Brexit could be halted.
However, as frontline Brexiteer and former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans told Sputnik News: “The people have spoken after a full and tough referendum campaign. John Major and Tony Blair both took part in that debate and campaigned for Remain. The people voted Leave.
“They both refused to give the people a vote on any aspect of EU integration during their time as PM. The UK ended up being deeper in the EU project thanks to their approach; this development was rejected by the people.
“It was a clear result and the people voted to leave and that is what Theresa May is respecting. It’s called democracy and it is the very essence of this which is now under attack by this campaign to flout the clear wishes of the people to be out of the EU.”
Leave Means Leave co-chair Richard Tice dubbed Major’s comments as “patronizing,” and the politician as “condescending” towards the British people.
“The public have spoken, the Government is delivering and these politicians of the past must move aside so that Britain can embrace the opportunities of Brexit and look to a prosperous future,” he added.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, however, came in Major’s defense, saying: “The British people voted for departure but they didn’t vote for a destination, and they certainly didn’t vote to make the nation poorer and risk jobs.
“The haphazard way May’s cabinet are handling Brexit makes the case for a referendum on the deal stronger each day, and we're glad to have growing cross-party support for this campaign.”