- Former PM made speech in Ukraine on the day Theresa May triggered Article 50
- Mr Cameron admitted he never ‘liked’ the European parliament or European flag
- Insisted he was glad he called the referendum despite defeat costing his job
James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline
David Cameron has reinvented himself as a Brexiteer – saying he never ‘liked’ the EU and is glad he called the referendum.
The former Prime Minister, whose political career was brought to a shuddering close when he lost the historic vote last year, made the comments as he addressed an event in Ukraine.
It is not known whether he was paid for the speech at the National University in Kiev – although he has racked up hundreds of thousands of pounds in earnings since leaving Downing Street last July.
David Cameron admitted he never ‘liked’ the EU as he delivered a speech in Ukraine yesterday
Mr Cameron gave the address at the National University in Kiev, saying he did not regret calling the EU referendum despite losing
The former PM’s speech came on the same day Theresa May confirmed to the Commons that she had triggered the formal mechanism for leaving the EU
Mr Cameron told the audience: “I think it is worth understanding that Britain always was uncertain, in fact opposed to the idea of the deeper and more integrated political union.
‘We looked at the European flag and we thought, “well, we don’t really like the European flag, we’ve got our own flag”.
‘We looked at the European parliament and we didn’t really like the European parliament. We’ve got our own parliament, which we are very proud of.’
Despite masterminding the desperate Project Fear campaign with George Osborne in a bid to keep the UK in the Brussels club, Mr Cameron said he felt the same way about the European institutions.
‘I led the campaign to stay in and I didn’t like the European flag and the European parliament,’ he said.
‘We were always uncertain about that political union element. I was passionate about my side of the argument, I threw myself into the argument, I made every argument I could, I fought as hard as I could, but I knew that if I lost I would have to think about resigning.
‘Having argued so strongly the way I did, I knew it would be hard to have the credibility to continue to take the country forward in the direction that people wanted it to go in.’
The speech was delivered as Theresa May gave effect to the outcome of the referendum by triggering Article 50 – the formal process for leaving the EU.
The UK’s envoy Sir Tim Barrow handed over a signed letter invoking the Lisbon Treaty mechanism to European Council president Donald Tusk in Brussels.
Mr Cameron led the cross-party campaign to keep us in the EU last year, including at one point manning a phonebank with Lib Dem Lord Ashdown and former Labour leader Lord Kinnock
European Council president Donald Tusk was handed the historic Article 50 letter by the UK’s representative Sir Tim Barrow in Brussels yesterday
Downing Street released an image of the letter to Mr Tusk invoking the process for taking the UK out of the Brussels club
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