Ex-Tory Prime Minister David Cameron claims he was a Euroskeptic all along, despite leading the Remain campaign in the run up to the EU referendum.
While his successor Theresa May officially kicked off the two-year process to get the Britain out of the EU on Wednesday, Cameron spoke at an event in Ukraine where he claimed he and the UK as a whole have always “disliked the European flag.”
“I think it is worth understanding that Britain always was uncertain, in fact opposed to the idea of the deeper and more integrated political union,” he said.
“We looked at the European flag and we thought, ‘well, we don’t really like the European flag, we’ve got our own flag.’”
Cameron went on to say nationalistic sentiment in Britain has always prevailed over the desire for a “political union” with the bloc.
He nonetheless suggested his anti-EU sentiment did not deter him from making his “passionate” case for the UK to stay in the EU.
“We looked at the European Parliament and we didn’t really like the European Parliament. We’ve got our own Parliament, which we are very proud of.
“I led the campaign to stay in and I didn’t like the European flag and the European Parliament,” Cameron was reported as saying at the event hosted by local tycoon Viktor Pinchuk, who supplies pipes to Russian oil company Gazprom.
“We were always uncertain about that political union element.
“I was passionate about my side of the argument, I threw myself into the argument, I made every argument I could, I fought as hard as I could, but I knew that if I lost I would have to think about resigning,” he said, the Times reports.
The former PM said that after the result of the EU referendum, where 52 percent of Britons voted to leave the bloc, he lost his “credibility” to carry on as leader.
Cameron said he had made the case to stay in the EU to have more trade and cooperation, but he nonetheless agreed to hold a referendum on UK’s independence in order to respect the Conservative manifesto pledge made during the 2015 general election.
“I thought it right to hold the referendum because this issue had been poisoning British politics for years.
“The referendum had been promised and not held,” the ex-Tory leader said, according to the Telegraph.
“I made a promise to hold a referendum, I think it was the right thing to do.”
May is doing the right thing by carrying out Brexit as she is listening to what the people called for in July’s referendum, Cameron added.
“We held the referendum and, of course, the result is not the result that I sought,” Cameron said, according to the Guardian.
“But it was a decisive result and that’s why today Theresa May quite rightly is taking the next step to ensuring the people’s will is followed through.”
His defense comes as May faces backlash after suggesting to withdraw security cooperation from the EU if it fails to reach a deal.
However, May insists she is not “trading off the security of our country” but that there are some existing arrangements with the EU that could no longer exist once the UK leaves the bloc.