Former Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday defended his decision to call a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union that resulted in a shock vote in favour of Brexit and also cost him his premiership.
“I believe and still believe that the fact that we hadn’t had a referendum on this issue for 40 years, despite the fact that the European Union was changing...was actually beginning to poison British politics - it was certainly poisoning politics in my own party,” he said during a speech at Depauw University in Indiana titled ‘The Historic Events of 2016 and Where We Go From Here’ as part of a US-wide tour.
“And I think, more broadly people felt ‘well, we have been promised referendums and they haven’t been delivered’ and people were beginning to feel very frustrated about this issue.
“Britain has made its choice - I believe that choice will be carried through. I think it is right it is carried through and yes, there will be difficulties along the way because it’s a big change, but ultimately it can be made to work,” the 50-year-old added.
Britain voted 52 to 48 per cent in favour of Brexit on June 23. The shock vote to leave the 28-member European Union cost Cameron his job as Prime Minister, leading to his resignation a day after the referendum.
Cameron said “populism” had cost him his job and, in a question and answer session following his speech, he said: “So far these three events - the Brexit referendum, the election of President Trump, the referendum in Italy - I’m sure people are going to write about this movement of unhappiness and concern about the state of the world.”
Cameron, who was recently in India, has since set up a new company - The Office of David Cameron Ltd - to launch his new speaking career around the world.