Sir John Major, the Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, has spoken of his reasons for wanting the UK to remain in the EU. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme he said:
“The EU helped free Spain, Portugal and Greece from fascism. It helped rebuild the Balkans after war. It offered a new future to countries once imprisoned in the Soviet empire. Across Europe old enemies, who for centuries fought against each other, now live and work beside each other.
It has increased our prosperity, once the sick man of Europe we are now on course to be the biggest economy in Europe. The UK sells five times as much to Europe as to all the other 52 nations of the Commonwealth added together. We face no tariffs and no hidden barriers to our exports”.
When asked about sovereignty by John Humphrys he replied:
“Let us deal with that point of sovereignty. This county is sovereign. We can vote to repeal the Accession Act of the European Union at any time. That is sovereignty in its purest form. If you want undiluted sovereignty in the modern age, when everybody is inter-connected, then go to North Korea because that’s where you’ll get it. It is certainly true that we share sovereignty, we take some sovereignty from other people and they take some of ours, we haven’t surrendered it because at the end of the day, the House of Commons – our representatives, can say we won’t have this, we will leave the European Union”.
“I’ll tell you what my choice is, my choice is the well-being of this generation and the next. To share sovereignty given that we have all sorts of protections, now some of them legislative, others agreed with the European Union, that prevent us being dragged into the melee of a federal Europe”.