John Major calls for Article 50 to be revoked so solution to Brexit crisis can be found

Posted On: 
11th December 2018

John Major has said Article 50 must be "immediately" revoked to give politicians time to find a solution to the Brexit crisis.

John Major made the comments in Dublin
Credit: 
PA Images

The former Prime Minister - who campaigned for Remain in the EU referendum - said "the clock, for the moment, must be stopped" after Theresa May pulled the vote on her Brexit deal.

Mrs May has embarked on a frantic spell of shuttle diplomacy across Europe in an attempt to get more concessions on the backstop arrangement designed to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

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Speaking in Dublin, Sir John said: "We need to revoke Article 50 with immediate effect. The clock, for the moment, must be stopped.

"It’s clear we now need the most precious commodity of all: time. Time for serious and profound reflection by both Parliament and people. There will be a way through the present morass, there always is."

The former Conservative leader, whose time in Downing Street was scarred by vicious Tory battles over Europe, has previously hinted that he could support a second referendum as a way of breaking the ongoing deadlock.

He spoke out after the European Court of Justice this week ruled that the UK could unilaterally revoke Article 50 to stop the Brexit process in its tracks.

Meanwhile, No 10 has confirmed that the meaningful vote will happen before 21 January, although it is highly unlikely to take place before Christmas.

"What’s important is that we have the correct reassurances to satisfy Parliament," a spokesman for Theresa May said.

It comes after Mrs May was forced to ditch a crunch Commons vote on her Brexit deal last night in the face of certain defeat.