Sir John Major says wellbeing of UK depends on membership of EU as he launches attack on Leave campaign

Sir John Major

Sir John Major - Credit: Archant

Former Prime Minister and Huntingdon MP Sir John Major has said sharing sovereignty is a price worth paying for the UK being a member of the European Union.

Sir John said that the country’s economic wellbeing and diplomatic clout were both stronger inside the European Union and said that people who wanted undiluted sovereignty would be better off in North Korea.

Speaking to Radio 4s Today programme, Sir John said: “If you want undiluted sovereignty in the modern age when everybody is interconnected then go to North Korea because that’s where you’ll get it.

“It is certainly true that we share sovereignty. We take sovereignty from other people, we share some of ours, we haven’t surrendered it because, at the end of the day, the House of Commons can say ‘we won’t have this, we will leave the European Union’.

“Our prime concern must surely be the economic wellbeing of our country and the political and diplomatic clout that our country has and both of those, in my judgement, are better within the European Union.”

“We’re on the winning side in over 90 per cent of votes within the European Union. If you share sovereignty because it is in your economic and national advantage to do so, of course there are going to be times when you don’t win. If you’re in an argument with two people, you don’t always win, that’s the world in which we have to live.”

Sir John also launched an attack on the Leave campaign, accusing them of producing “plain silly” soundbites and faux patriotism.

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He said: “Day after day you’ve had the Brexit people producing soundbites that are either offensive, or inaccurate, or just plain silly. And they’ve also said a great deal that is just frankly not so.

“As far as faux patriotism is concerned, it isn’t for them [Brexit] to assume patriotism only for their side of the argument. Everbody in this country loves this country, I certainly do and I’d find it offensive myself when they apply to themselves the feeling that they are the patriotic side.”