by Paul Waugh
How strange the change from Major to minor. Sir John Major said goodbye to No10 nearly 20 years ago, but he can still make headlines. Oh, yes.
The ex-PM has told guests at a private dinner that Britain’s departure from the European Union must not be dictated by the “tyranny of the majority”. In his first published remarks on the EU referendum result, he added that there was a “perfectly credible case” for a second referendum and that Parliament - not Government - must make the final decision on any new deal with Brussels.
David Cameron used Major strategically and tactially, wheeling him out at times when his premiership needed a filip. Theresa May’s relations with the former PM are not as cordial, not least as they disagree on fundamental issues such as immigration. In his speech on Wednesday, Major urged all politicians to agree that “most immigration is a boost to our national wellbeing and not a drain on it”.
Of course, many Eurosceps will dismiss Major’s musings as the ramblings of an embittered Remoaner. And he isn’t the only former PM back in the limelight, after Tony Blair told the New Statesman Brexit ‘can be stopped’.
“When I say, ‘Let’s just keep our options open’ it’s condemned as treason…It [Brexit] can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis doesn’t stack up.” Blair has met Nick Clegg, George Osborne and others, and his new ‘movement’ sounds half way between a new political party and a think tank. One to watch.
Meanwhile, Malta’s PM Joseph Muscat has told the BBC that EU leaders are not "bluffing" when they say the UK will be left without access to the single market when it leaves the bloc if there is no free movement of people. “This is really and truly our position and I don't see it changing".
* Paul Waugh Is The Executive Editor, Politics, Huffpost UK.