John Major offered Theresa May a way out of the 'Brexit chaos' and people agree with him

Greg Evans
Saturday 19 January 2019 10:30
news

The former Conservative leader and prime minister John Major has appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme to offer his thoughts on what Theresa May should do going forward on Brexit.

The 75-year-old who held office between 1990 and 1997 has been a prominent voice in opposing Brexit and has won further support today for his solution on navigating the current mess that parliament has got itself into.

Major believed that May had been handed a "poisoned chalice" in Brexit and that her position has been "impossible" but stressed that leaving the European Union in chaos and without a deal would be the worst of all outcomes.

Whilst May has continuously said that she intends to deliver the result of the 2016 EU referendum, Major believes that she must not ignore 48 per cent of people who voted to remain.

Of course, she needs to look at the results of the referendum but she must not forget the 48 per cent of people who voted to stay inside the European Union and whose views cannot be lightly brushed aside like they didn't exist.

It has become evident since 2016, much clearer than what that impact of leaving will be on the lives of everyday people in the United Kingdom and the prime minister, the government and parliament have a primary duty to look out for their future wellbeing and the wellbeing of the young people coming on to the register who weren't eligible in 2016.

There are a whole series of responsibilities that the prime minister must weigh.

Major added that he feared that "millions of people who don't deserve to be hurt will be hurt" and they should be the "prime responsibility of parliament" and they will have "failed" if they do not.

He then went on to say that May only has three options left on Brexit: The cabinet decides the way ahead (which he conceded is untenable), parliament decides or Britain holds a second referendum on the issue of staying in the EU.

Major called on her to make a radical "act of statesmanship" and allows MPs to vote without whips and without loyalty to the party but loyalty to their conscience and constituents.

All party leaders would permit a free vote so we can get an honest representation of parliament. 

And that is in the prime minister’s interest for this reason – it’s the only way to get an absolutely honest answer from members of parliament.

It removes the danger of resignations from the government, or the opposition front bench, because they disagree with the leaders’ policy.

Although his appearance on Radio 4 on Saturday morning was relatively short his considered thoughts won the former PM a lot of support from politicians and members of the public alike, who felt that his words made sense and that he had acted with more statesmanlike qualities than many of the currently elected officials.

More: Brexit: French president Macron delivers brilliant speech after Theresa May’s deal rejected by MPs

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