David Cameron, the former British prime minister toppled by his defeat in the Brexit referendum, has used a paid speaking engagement in Bangkok, Thailand, to criticise U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive orders on travel as “misconceived from the very outset”.
In a speech to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Tory grandee acknowledged the “biggest threat to our world, and also [the tourism] industry, is the threat of Islamist extremism”.
However, the former premier went on to claim that two stalled executive orders, temporarily restricting travel from first seven and later six states identified as “countries of concern” by the Obama administration, played into the hands of “terrorists and their apologists”.
Cameron told his audience that, to him, this was “the biggest problem with President Trump’s travel ban. It would be seen, could be seen, as labelling whole countries as extreme and dangerous because they were predominately Islamic.”
He added, “It’s not a clash between civilisations that we face. That is what the extremists want us to think. This is, if you like, a war within Islam.”
The former prime minister has, like former Chancellor George Osborne, been raking in considerable sums of money from these speeches, with the Daily Mail reporting he has earned as much as £120,000 for hour-long engagements.
His combined salary as a Member of Parliament and head of Government, in contrast, was a little under £150,000 per year.
With the respect to the referendum on European Union membership which brought him down, Cameron said: “Obviously I regret the personal consequences for me. I loved being prime minister [and] I thought I was doing a reasonable job.”
The 50-year-old insisted, however, that he believed that holding the referendum was “the right thing” to do, because “the lack of a referendum was poisoning British politics”.