Ex-Cabinet Minister and MP Michael Portillo criticized the European Union’s (EU) “bullying culture” during a debate on the BBC’s This Week show, in which he locked horns with British Philosopher AC Grayling
“I was in this studio before the referendum, and I kept saying ‘you see if the referendum goes the way the establishment doesn’t want it they will soon be back saying there ought to be another referendum, which they have done to every other European country'. It’s part of the bullying culture of the European Union,” he said as quoted by The Express.
“If people defy what the establishment wants to do, they have to be bullied, they have to be punished, they have to be threatened.”
He also expressed his opposition to a second vote, insisting that Brits had already made a decision on the matter and another referendum would be unnecessary.
Furthermore, Mr. Portillo claimed that “this bullying and paternalism” is one of the reasons why the EU failed to retain Britain as a member state.
EU-UK talks to negotiate the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the trading bloc have resulted in some progress, with an encouraging draft deal agreed earlier this year.
However, negotiators have struggled to find common ground on Britain’s post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU and the matter of the Irish border.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May last week avoided another embarrassing defeat in parliament, but had to make concessions to win over support from MPs. Even with the concessions, the bill did not pass by a comfortable margin and the PM remains in a weak and uncomfortable position.