Former Conservative prime minister John Major has called for a free vote in parliament on the possibility of a second EU referendum.
In a speech in London, Major attacked the government’s “unrealistic” Brexit strategy and made clear it was parliament’s duty to consider the “wellbeing of the people” and interpret the first referendum vote within those parameters.
He argued that parliamentary sovereignty meant that parliament must have a “decisive vote” where it “can accept ot reject the final outcome; or send the negotiators back to seek improvements; or order a referendum”.
“No one can truly know what ‘the will of the people’ may then be. So, let parliament decide. Or put the issue back to the people,” he said.
In a scathing attack on the false promises and halftruths from Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, Major continued: “Every one of the Brexit promises is – to quote Henry Fielding – ‘a very wholesome and comfortable doctrine to which (there is) but one objection: namely, that it is not true’”.
Major was instrumental in building the framework for peace in Northern Ireland that allowed his successor, Tony Blair, to sign the Good Friday Agreement. In recent weeks it has become increasingly clear that the Brexit ideologues are prepared to sacrifice peace in Northern Ireland for their pet project, no matter the harm this will do to both British and Irish citizens.
Every living former prime minister has now come out against Brexit, and Theresa May could not tell Radio 4 that she thinks Brexit is the right choice. However, the country rumbles on towards a painful and chaotic divorce under the guidance of Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg, The Daily Mail’s Paul Dacre, and The Sun’s Tony Gallagher.