EU referendum: John Major tells Brexiteers to "go to North Korea" if they want "undiluted sovereignty"

Catherine Neilan
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North Korea does a roaring trade in rock exports (Source: Getty)

Former Prime Minister John Major has suggested people in favour of leaving the European Union should "go to North Korea" if they want "undiluted sovereignty".

In a move that seems almost calculated to wind up half the country, the man who led the country during much of the 1990s told Radio 4's Today Programme dismissed arguments put forward by the Leave campaign by suggesting their stance would be at home in one of the most isolated countries on the planet.

"If you want undiluted sovereignty in the modern age, when everybody is interconnected, then go to North Korea because that's where you'll get it," he said this morning.

He laughed when asked about Ken Clarke's suggestion that current Prime Minister David Cameron "wouldn't last 30 seconds" if he lost the EU vote.

But the famously Europhile ex-Tory leader emphasised points such as the estimated impact on manufacturing which would be "decimated", resulting in the loss of 2.5m jobs - to back up his view that Brexit is not an option.

The response to his interview online was mixed - but it's fair to say there was a lot of anger at his comparison of Brexiteers with Kim Jong Un.

Still, it's one way to avoid the endless debate as to whether Brexit will have a good/bad/indifferent effect on the UK....