Man who sank his own career said it was right to steer into the iceberg

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Thursday 30 March 2017 12:30
news
Picture:(PETER MACDIARMID - WPA POOL /GETTY IMAGES)

Twelve months ago, this man was the first Conservative Party leader in 23 years to win a majority at a general election.

He was the first prime minister to increase their party's share of the vote in a general election since Anthony Eden 1955.

He'd been a member of parliament since 2005, and before that had been the right hand man of Chancellors and Home Secretaries.

He'd managed to legalise same sex marriage at the head of a party traditionally opposed to the move, and he'd headed the first cross party coalition since the Second World War.

His opposition party had been reduced to 11 per cent of its size in parliament, and two years previously he'd held together the Union by winning a referendum on keeping Scotland in the United Kingdom.

And given all that's now a murky memory, David Cameron says he does not regret holding the referendum on the European Union.

Speaking to an audience of students in Ukraine, the day his successor as prime minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, Cameron maintained the referendum that cost him his career and Britain's membership of the EU was the right thing to do.

I thought it right to hold the referendum because this issue had been poisoning British politics for years.

He continued:

The referendum had been promised and not held, I made a promise to hold a referendum, I think it was the right thing to do,

Yet the idea that the blood letting also drained some of the poison out of British politics is debatable.

National newspapers and right wing commentators have called the judiciary 'Enemies of people'.

Picture:(Daily Mail)

Moreover, nine months on from the result, polling by YouGov suggests that voters remain as divided as they were on referendum day.

Cameron also remarked on what he hopes Brexit Britain (which he repeatedly implied would be a nightmare) will look like:

I hope we will be out of the European Union, but we will take part in security cooperation and other forms of cooperation to recognise that while we are leaving the European Union, we are not leaving Europe, we are not giving up on European values,

Cameron's referendum hasn't just made leaving the EU his legacy, it may also have led to Scotland leaving the EU, and reversed his party modernisation project he began in 2005.

He really doesn't regret it?

We were in the EU for reasons of utility rather than emotion. We were there for the trade, we were there for the cooperation and I thought it right to stay because I wanted more trade and more cooperation,

He was also quoted as saying:

But nonetheless the other side… won a vote and we need to go ahead with Brexit.

The heir to Blair notably isn't going as far as joining the other former prime ministers who want to avoid implementing the result.

But no regrets?

HT Politics Home, Kyiv Post

More: Four important things you missed while Brexit was happening​

Trending