FORMER Prime Minister David Cameron has said he thinks about the consequences of the EU referendum “every day” and accused Michael Gove and Boris Johnson of “trashing the government”.
In an interview with The Times Mr Cameron told how he worries “desperately” about what will happen next and said a second Brexit referendum cannot be ruled out.
The former PM said he was strongly opposed to a No Deal Brexit and described Mr Johnson’s controversial move to prorogue Parliament as a “bad thing”.
Discussing Brexit Mr Cameron, who called the 2016 poll, told the newspaper: “I think about this every day. 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.”
He added: “I worry about it a lot. I worry about it a lot”.
‘HUGE POLITICAL PRESSURE’
Mr Cameron has been heavily criticised by many for calling the divisive poll that has split the country – but he said he was left with no choice as the “issue was not going to go away”.
He said: “This issue needed to be addressed and I thought a referendum was coming, so better to try to get some reforms we needed and have a referendum.
“But I accept that, you know, that effort failed.
“I do understand some people are very angry because they didn’t want to leave the EU. Neither did I.”
He insisted that calling a referendum was not a decision he “took in any way lightly”.
He said: “I thought about it more than any other decision I took, because I knew it was an enormous decision.
“But it seemed to me that there was a genuine problem between Britain and the EU with the eurozone crisis and the development of the euro that needed fixing.
“There was also – I don’t deny it for a second – a huge political pressure to have a referendum, partly because we’d had treaty after treaty and promise after promise, and this issue was not going to go away.”
Mr Cameron said that Remain lost as they ended up with “very strong technical and economic arguments” while the those in support of Leave had a “very powerful emotional argument”.
He said: “I think the issue of immigration plus that emotional argument was a winning combination for them.
“The argument about control, it resonated with people, and when you asked them, ‘Well, what is it we’re going to control?’ it was this issue of immigration.”
Mr Cameron reserved his most stinging criticism for (former) close friend Michael Gove and fellow ex Etonian Mr Johnson.
He said: “It turned into this terrible Tory psychodrama and I couldn’t seem to get through.
“What Boris and Michael Gove were doing was more exciting than the issues I was trying to get across. I felt like I was in a sort of quagmire by the end.”
“Boris had never argued for leaving the EU, right? 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.”
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After losing the referendum Mr Cameron admitted he was left feeling “miserable” and was subjected to abuse from Remainers.
On a second referendum, he said: “I don’t think you can rule it out because we’re stuck.”
Asked if he would campaign for another poll, Mr Cameron replied: “I’m not saying one will happen or should happen. 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 described a No Deal Brexit as a “bad outcome”.
He added: “I very much hope it doesn’t happen. I don’t think it should be pursued.”