David Cameron has spoken out about worrying ‘desperately’ about the consequences of Brexit and said that a second referendum cannot be ruled out.
In an explosive interview with the Times, the former Tory prime minister admitted he thinks about the consequences of the 2016 poll “every single day”.
Cameron told the paper: “Every single day I think about it, the referendum and the fact that we lost and the consequences and the things that could have been done differently, and I worry desperately about what is going to happen next.
“I think we can get to a situation where we leave but we are friends, neighbours and partners. We can get there, but I would love to fast-forward to that moment because it’s painful for the country and it’s painful to watch.”
On a second referendum, he said: “I don’t think you can rule it out because we’re stuck.”
He would not commit to whether or not he’d campaign in favour of another poll, however.
“I’m not saying one will happen or should happen,” he said. “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.”
He also slammed the prorogation of parliament, which was undertaken unlawfully by Boris Johnson this week.
“I think there are certain things you shouldn’t do to unblock the blockage,” he said. “I think proroguing parliament – pretending it doesn’t exist – I think that would be a bad thing.”
Cameron said a no-deal Brexit would be a “bad outcome” for the country, adding: “I very much hope it doesn’t happen. I don’t think it should be pursued.”
The former PM accused Boris Johnson and Michael Gove of effectively “trashing” the government during the referendum campaign.
“I say in the book: Boris had never argued for leaving the EU, right?” he said. “Michael was a very strong Eurosceptic, 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.”
Adding that Johnson was “easy to work with,” he admitted there had been “issues” between the pair.
“I want him to succeed. I worked with him well, as I say in the book. I also say that he was a capable mayor. He was easy to work with. I thought he was very talented. I wanted him in my government.
“We’ve had issues. Even before Brexit, there were sometimes tensions and disagreements but, on the whole, we’ve got on well. And I want him to succeed.
“Look, he’s got a very clear strategy and plan. It’s, you know, not the approach that I would have taken, but I want him to succeed.”
He spoke about leaving Number 10, saying: “I was miserable about giving up the job I loved and working for the country I loved. I was miserable about it.”
Asked if he was depressed, Cameron replied: “Yes, hugely depressed about it.”
On Priti Patel, now the home secretary, he said: “I remember her attack that wealthy people didn’t understand the problems of immigration.
“It felt very like she was put on point to do some attacking of the government and its record. I suppose some people would say all is fair in love and war and political campaigns.
“I thought there were places Conservatives wouldn’t go against each other. And they did.”