In Brief

David Cameron on Brexit: the end of ‘Project Fear’?

Former PM says leaving the EU is a ‘mistake not a disaster’ in comments overheard at Davos

David Cameron has been overheard at Davos saying Brexit is a “mistake, not a disaster” - much to the glee of Brexiteers.

The former prime minister told Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal that leaving the EU had not been as catastrophic as predicted, although the process was “still going to be difficult”.

Cameron’s comments are likely to provoke merriment among his Brexit-backing former colleagues, says The Guardian

As PM, Cameron was accused of leading “Project Fear” by describing the economic effects of the leave vote as “the gamble of the century”.

Cameron and then-chancellor George Osborne issued a string of “blood-curdling warnings” in 2016 about the potential inpact of quitting the European Union, says the Daily Mail. “Cameron claimed Brexit could lead to war and genocide in Europe, ‘put a bomb under the economy’, destroy funding for public services and lead to cuts in pensions,” according to the newspaper.

Fast-forward 18 months and Nigel Farage is gloating. The former UKIP leader tweeted a video clip of Cameron at this week’s World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos, under the caption: “Busted”.

Farage continued his attack today, “raging” at the news and demanding an apology over Project Fear, reports the Daily Express.

Farage was not alone. A headline in The Sun triumphantly declared: “Project Fear Crumbles.” MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, head of the European Research Group of backbench Tory Eurosceptics, said: “Ultimately, the truth will out, and Mr Cameron shows his statesmanlike qualities by admitting it.”

But not everyone is out to take a swipe at the former Tory leader.

According to The Independent: “Cameron is not alone among former prime ministers expressing scepticism. Tony Blair has waged a media war to keep Britain in the EU, calling for a second referendum along with the Lib Dems, while John Major referred to Brexit as a ‘historic mistake’, and Gordon Brown has said voters could be persuaded they were wrong.”

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