LONDON — A second referendum on the U.K.’s membership of the European Union could prove the only way to break the Brexit deadlock, former British Prime Minister David Cameron said.
In an interview with the Times published Friday ahead of the launch of his memoir, “For the Record,” Cameron said a no-deal Brexit would be a “bad outcome” and should not be pursued. Another public vote should not discarded as an option, he said.
“I’m not saying one will happen or should happen. I’m just saying that you can’t rule things out right now because you’ve got to find some way of unblocking the blockage. I think there are certain things you shouldn’t do to unblock the blockage. I think proroguing parliament — pretending it doesn’t exist — I think that would be a bad thing.”
Johnson’s recent decision to take the Conservative whip away from 21 Tory rebels who opposed his Brexit strategy, and his move to shut down parliament “have rebounded,” Cameron said. “I didn’t support either of those things.”
He confessed worrying “desperately” about what is going to happen next, but justified his decision to call the Brexit referendum in 2016 saying it was necessary in order for the U.K. to get its way in the renegotiation of its relationship with the EU.
Cameron also criticized Johnson and Michael Gove, who is currently in charge of no-deal planning, for changing sides during the referendum campaign.
“I say in the book: Boris had never argued for leaving the EU, right? Michael was a very strong Euroskeptic, but someone whom I’d known as this liberal, compassionate, rational Conservative ended up making arguments about Turkey [joining] and being swamped and what have you. They were trashing the government of which they were a part, effectively.”
During a visit to Yorkshire earlier on Friday, Johnson said he was not concerned about what his predecessor would write about him in his upcoming memoirs.
“I want people to be clear, absolutely nothing that David Cameron says in his memories in the course of the next few days will diminish the affection and respect in which I hold him,” said Johnson. “Not least for what he did in turning this country round after Labour left it bankrupt. I think he has a very distinguished record and a legacy to be proud of.”