THERE IS a “perfectly credible” case for a second EU referendum, former prime minister Sir John Major said on NoV 25 as he warned against the “tyranny of the majority”.
“I hear the argument that the 48 per cent of people who voted to stay should have no say in what happens,” he said, addressing a private dinner, reports The Week.
“I find that very difficult to accept. The tyranny of the majority has never applied in a democracy and it should not apply in this particular democracy.”
Asked if a second referendum could be held, he replied: “That is a matter for parliament. You can make a perfectly credible case for it. I don’t know whether that will happen. I think we need to see how things pan out before we decide exactly what needs to be done.”
The former Conservative leader said he accepted the UK was not going to stay a full member of the EU, but hoped it would stay as close to the single market as possible, reports The Times.
Major’s intervention, his first since June, is “likely to cause fresh anger among Eurosceptic Tories”, says The Guardian. It came a few hours after former Labour prime minister Tony Blair suggested it was possible Brexit could be halted.
“[Brexit] can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain gain cost-benefit analysis doesn’t stack up,” he said, in an interview with The New Statesman.
He added that the public should have the chance to vote on the terms of withdrawal, saying he believed if the UK was offered a soft Brexit, allowing some freedom of movement for EU citizens in return for free trade, voters might decide there was no point leaving.
UK ‘ill-equipped’ to leave
The UK is facing the challenge of leaving the European Union “unprepared and ill-equipped”, Labour’s shadow chancellor says.
Speaking after the Autumn Statement, John McDonnell accused the Conservative leadership of having “no answers to the challenges facing our country following Brexit and no vision to secure our future prosperity”.
He also urged Chancellor Philip Hammond to “stand up to the Prime Minister and the extreme Brexit fanatics in her Cabinet”.
McDonnell’s comments come after a German politician attacked the UK for failing to offer any clarity over what it is trying to achieve in Brexit negotiations.
MEP Manfred Weber, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, “vented frustration” at the lack of clear information coming from the government, reports Sky News.