Sir John Major whinged about the ‘Remoaner’ label, claiming it was a “sneering” approach to those who wanted to remain inside the EU. The former Prime Minister launched a scathing rebuke of “extreme Brexiteers” as he called supporters of the decision to leave the EU “arrogant”. Sir John made the stunning outburst during an interview with Nick Robinson on the BBC’s Today programme.
The pair were discussing the Government’s handling of the Owen Paterson scandal, as Sir John called the current cabinet’s behaviour “very un-Conservative”.
Mr Robinson said: “There will be some listening who think this is personal animus.
“You lost the argument on Brexit, Boris Johnson won the argument.
“There will be many people who voted Leave saying ‘Please don’t lecture us about standards.'”
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The BBC host added: “The establishment – of which they see you as a part – tried to overturn their votes in a democracy after the referendum.”
Sir John responded: “I’m very well aware that the extreme Brexiteers will repeat the old mantra about me being a bitter old Remoaner.
“It is partly true. I am old. And I am a Remainer. But I am not bitter. I am disappointed and angry with the way the Government has behaved.
“As for Remoaner, to use that sneer against half of the country that voted against leaving Europe is pretty arrogant.
Sir John said: “This is silly politics to placate a few extreme Brexiteers and the price will be paid by businesses, people in Northern Ireland and the reputation of the United Kingdom.”
The former PM said the move would damage relations with the EU and United States and could further destabilise Northern Ireland.
He said: “To use Article 16, to suspend parts of the protocol, would be absurd.
“This protocol is being denounced week after week by Lord Frost and the Prime Minister.
“Who negotiated the wretched protocol? Lord Frost and the Prime Minister.
“They negotiated it, they signed it, they now wish to break it.”