One of the Tory rebels described as 'b***ards' by Sir John Major over the Maastricht Treaty has ridiculed the former Prime Minister's comments on Brexit.
Major spoke out against Brexit yesterday, demanding that MPs be given a free vote on the Brexit deal and suggesting the British people have "every right" to another referendum. He added that the hardline eurosceptics, the people he described with that famous expletive 25 years ago, are in a minority in Parliament and haven't won the debate, as some claim.
Sir Bill Cash, one of the backbenchers who defied the Tory whip most vehemently on the Maastricht agreement, told talkRADIO this morning that the famous 1992 compact paved the way for the Brexit vote.
Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer, Cash said he opposed the Maastricht Treaty because it transformed the EU from an economic to a political project, and allowed continental leaders to push ahead with their dream of ever-closer union.
The interviewee recalled that Major also forced the treaty through without a referendum, and "if he wasn't prepared to give a referendum in the first place, it's hypocritical now to say there should be a referendum on this."
Addressing those who believe the British people deserve a second vote, given the result of the 2016 EU referendum was so tight and so much has happened since then, Cash said the original plebiscite was completely democratic and the people were "not misled one bit" as Major claimed.
In fact, Cash said, Major's demand for a second referendum was an "attack on British democracy" and "it's about time these people who are trying to upset [the result] realised how fundamentally undemocratic they are, and wrong.
"If you take the speeches of Juncker, if you take the speeches of Macron recently, if those speeches had been made before the referendum, it wouldn't have been 52%. It would have 65 or 70."