1 of 7
William Hague, now a House of Lords representative, claimed the UK needs to get on with the result of the Brexit vote and that “we have to stick to the decision”.
The Lord said the UK could not turn round to the British people after its historic decision to vote to leave the EU and tell them “you got this wrong”.
Speaking on the Today programme, Lord Hague said another Brexit referendum would be too “divisive”.
He said: “It would be the most divisive event in this country since the arguments over Irish home rule at least, to try and go back over this issue.
William Hague said the EU needs to respond to Theresa May’s Florence speech offers
“Imagine going back to the people of this country and saying ‘you got this wrong in the referendum, you may have turned out in record numbers and most of the country voted to Leave but nevertheless we think you got it wrong and we are going to run it again’.
“Imagine the hate-filled campaign that would divide this country. I do not think that is a price worth paying.”
The Conservative Lord also called for the European Union to budge over its Brexit stance following the Prime Minister’s monumental Florence speech.
He said: “I think the negotiations so far have taken a fairly predictable course actually. And of course, the task now is to make sure there is a breakthrough in the coming months.
“That is incumbent on both sides to make sure that there is that breakthrough.
“The EU needs to respond fully to what Theresa May said in her Florence speech, but if so there can be a reasonable agreement.”
The Conservative politician added that it was “inevitable” the UK should prepare for a “no deal” scenario, but also said it “would be a pretty bad scenario”.
When he was asked whether he would vote Leave, after voting to Remain in 2016, the Lord admitted he would be “more likely” to vote Leave this time, as “you can’t change your mind”.
Speaking yesterday, as he gave evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs committee, Lord Hague demanded the EU give some clarification on what it wants when Britain leaves the EU.
He said: At the moment, in the wider negotiations, it’s the EU position that they will only talk about Ireland, citizens’ rights and the budget. So, they are not really in a position to say we want to know exactly what you are proposing on foreign affairs.
“But, if the negotiations broaden, which I think we all hope they do in the coming months, then they will want to know more detail. But, I think I have a slight difference in emphasis from Lord Ricketts. I think the EU also has to think about what it wants on something like this.”
The Brexit Secretary, also giving his own evidence to the Brexit Select Committee, warned the Brexit withdrawal bill may favour the EU.
He said: “The withdrawal agreement, on balance, will probably favour the European Union in terms of things like money and so on.
“Whereas the future relationship will favour both sides and will be important to both of us.”