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Former Tory PM John Major warns of ‘brutal’ Brexit experience

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Former PM John Major is widely considered as one of the country's leading Brexit skeptics

Former Tory Prime Minister, John Major, has upped the stakes in last minute trade negotiations with the European Union (EU) by warning that Brexit may be “even more brutal than expected”.

In a pre-recorded speech at an Inns of Court in London, Major identified the UK’s negotiating “failures” as the biggest contributory factor to a harsher than expected Brexit experience.

Major, who was Prime Minister between 1990 and 1997, was particularly scathing of the “corrosive” impact of the Internal Market Bill (IMB), which would effectively give British ministers the power to over-ride key elements of the Brexit treaty.

The former PM’s warning was announced on the day the House of Lords rejected key features of the IMB.

Peers voted on Tuesday (November 10) by an overwhelming 433 votes to 165 to remove a section of the IMB that would allow British ministers to break international law.

In his lecture at Middle Temple (a bastion of the country’s leading barristers), Major described the IMB as a “slippery slope” down which “no democratic government should ever travel”.

"This action is unprecedented in all our history - and for good reason. It has damaged our reputation around the world", Major lamented.

More broadly, the former Tory leader warned that Brexit divisions have increased the likelihood of the UK’s fragmentation along national lines.

Referring specifically to the Scottish independence movement, Major claimed that the UK could find it “difficult” to dismiss demands for a new independence referendum in the post-Breixt era.

In his lecture, Major proposes a “two-stage” process by way of insidiously sabotaging the aims and aspirations of the Scottish independence movement.

 According to the former PM, a vote on the “principle” of independence should be followed by another on the terms and conditions of Scottish separation.


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