John Major has told young people that Brexit was a “colossal mistake” and that he hopes one day they will force the UK to rejoin the EU.
At the One Young World forum on Wednesday, the 76-year-old former Tory prime minister said: “Young people have been let down, they overwhelmingly wished to remain in the EU, whereas many of their elders did not.
“I have been a critic of Brexit, and I remain so. I think it’s bad for the UK, bad for the EU and bad for Europe, and a colossal mistake.”
He added in comments reported by the Evening Standard: “Young people prefer cooperation to separation… In the end, the young are going to win because they will be here and the elderly won’t.
“One day, I confidently predict, the young ones will reenter the EU or form a new alliance with them.”
Mr Major is not the first to suggest that older voters had stolen young people’s futures by voting for Brexit. Others have said that a second referendum should be held once the older generation had died off, or that the voting franchise should be denied of senior citizens entirely.
Remainers Hope Older Brexit Voters Dying Will Tilt EU Referendum Re-run https://t.co/tt1LhNBMTc
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 18, 2019
Within days of the June 2016 vote, articles published in the left-wing media like the Huffington Post and The Independent claimed that older voters had “screwed over” the young while GQ Magazine ran with the headline: “We Should Ban Old People from Voting.”
Prominent figures in the British media establishment also celebrated the prospect of the old dying to usher in a new Europhile age in Britain. Gary Lineker, former football player and spokesman for crisps brand Walkers, ‘joked’ in December 2016 that by the time the UK leaves the EU, “most the people who voted for it will be dead”.
In May 2017, author Ian McEwan said that there should be another referendum in 2019 when senior voters are “in their graves”.
“By 2019 the country could be in a receptive mood: 2.5 million over-18-year-olds, freshly franchised and mostly remainers; 1.5 million oldsters, mostly Brexiters, freshly in their graves,” the then-69-year-old had said.
While Polly Toynbee, a columnist at the left-liberal Guardian, celebrated “Swing Saturday” in January 2019 — marking the day when “the country turns Remain”.
“Enough old Leavers will have died, and enough young Remainers will have come on to the electoral register to turn the dial on what the country thinks about Brexit,” the 72-year-old had said.
Europhile Journo: ‘Bad Winter’ Will Kill Older Leave Voters, Grandchildren Will ‘Spit on Their Graves’ https://t.co/DYczQZ1VTU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 13, 2017
Major is a vocal critic of Brexit and joined the recent legal challenge to cancel Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament, claiming it was a political move to stop Remainers finding ways to stop the UK leaving the EU. The Supreme Court ruled last month that the suspension of parliament was unlawful and MPs returned to the Commons.
Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith effectively called Major a hypocrite for opposing Johnson’s prorogation of parliament when he suspended the House during a scandal in 1997.
Mr Duncan-Smith said in September: “So the words ‘pot’ and ‘kettle’ do come to mind rather significantly here.”
“I do recall that this is the same man suddenly prorogued Parliament in the height of the ‘cash-of-questions’ report and he was highly criticised at the time, but he still went ahead,” he added.