New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Defending calling a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, former British Prime Minister David Cameron said that his country’s relation with the multi-nation grouping was “utilitarian” and it was part of it for economic reasons.
“Britain’s commitment to EU was a very utilitarian one. We never liked the political project of Europe. We tried to stay out of it,” he said at a discussion on ‘The Western world in crisis’ at the HT Leadership Summit.
Standing with his decision of calling for a referendum vote on Britain’s Exit from EU (Brexit), he said: “I think referendum was right thing to do. EU in last 40 years has fundamentally changed.
The British people have never been asked about the various treaties (within EU). That is why I held a referendum. My argument was were we better off staying in the EU?”
Britain withdrew from the EU after a referendum held in June this year where 52 per cent voters voted in favour of the exit. Cameron subsequently resigned from his post in October.
“Britain, I believe will be moving from a situation of inside the European Union but out of many of its parts … we did not join single currency, we were never going to join an European army. Now, we are going to be out of European Union quite probably in some of those provisions… working for our common security.”
On the emerging opposition to globalisation across the world, he said: “While globalisation has been a success for many in our country and our world, there is no doubt some people have left behind and have seen stagnation in wages…. for some in our country.”
“But there is another phenomenon happening to which is more of a cultural phenomenon… which is there are those in our country which feel left behind by the pace of change in their communities by the mass movement of the people, by the high level of migration,” Cameron said on the opposition to migrants in many parts of Europe and Britain.
“This is part of the concern that led to the Brexit vote…. I think we need to address that with just the same vigour as we address the economic question,” he added.