It’s just two and a half weeks until Britain’s EU referendum. If the country votes to remain by a reasonable margin, then by and large1 life will carry on pretty much as before for most people. However, if the UK votes to leave, the nation will be an unchartered territory with the Prime Minister David Cameron facing questions about his future. On Sunday, one of his predecessors John Major intervened on behalf of the remain campaign. And in a sign of how heated the debate has become, he didn’t mince his words, as I heard from our political correspondent Chris Mason.
Well, as John Major had a reputation as British Prime Minister in the 1990s of being dull even of being boring, he acknowledged today that he is often understated in his public interventions. And yet what he said in a BBC interview was anything but understated as he repeatedly criticized the leave campaign in the UK referendum.
And what they have said about leaving is fundamentally dishonest and it’s dishonest about the cost of Europe. And on the subject that they’ve veered towards having lost economic argument of immigration, I think their campaign is verging on the squalid. So these promises of the expenditure on the national health service or elsewhere are frankly fatuous. They are a deceit. I’m angry at the way that British people are being misled.
John Major of course faced immense troubles over Europe during his time as Prime Minister. What did the leave campaign say about it?
Yeah, I should say there was a chasm in the Conservative Party when it was governing Britain for much of the 1990s. Today it was as if he was trying to crowbar open, prize open that chasm even further. He clearly feels aggrieved how he was treated by some of the same people who were in his government 20 years ago, who are now leading advocates of the leave campaign. But there’s an additional figure, a big figure within the governing Conservative Party in the UK. That’s Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London. So what did he make of what Sir John Major had said and particularly the suggestion from the former British Prime Minister that Mr. Johnson was merely setting out5 his argument because he wants to be Britain’s next Prime Minister.
Obviously there’s going to be temptation by one side to try to turn into a personality driven conversation. My view by the EU has changed. We’ll be safer, taking back control.
The question is the extent too which this powerful intervention from Sir John Major will make any difference to voters.
1.by and large 大体上，总的来说
例句：Taking it by and large, the conditions of employment are good. 从大体上说来， 就业条件是好的。
2.mince one’s words委婉地说；吞吞吐吐
例句：He told me that he loved me, and he didn't mince his words either.他说他爱我，而且说得一点也不含糊。
3.verge on 趋向；接近
例句：The big banks still verge on insolvency and they still aren't lending. 大银行仍然徘徊在破产的边缘，他们也不贷款。
4.make of 对…有某种看法；理解；解释；明白
例句：I don't know what to make of his odd behaviour.
5.set out 出发；开始；陈述；陈列
例句：The doctors have set out their arguments against the proposals.
1.If the country votes to remain by a reasonable margin, then by and large1 life will carry on pretty much as before for most people.
carry on 经营；<非正>继续进行<非正>非正>
例句：Rachael Carr intends to carry on teaching.
例句：I hope to carry on for an indeterminate period.
2.On Sunday, one of his predecessors John Major intervened on behalf of the remain campaign.
on behalf of 为了……的利益；代表……
例句：He gave witness on behalf of an accused person.
例句：He spoke on behalf of the plan.
20世纪90年代约翰•梅杰当英国首相时曾以无趣甚至遭人厌著称，如今，他承认自己在公共干预方面通常过于保守 。但在一次BBC采访中，他的话却一点也不保守，在英国公投中屡次抨击脱欧派 。
他们的脱欧言论从根本上就是不诚实的，关于欧洲要付出的代价，他们没说实话 。在移民的经济论证方面也快输了，就凭这一点，我认为他们的计划趋于卑劣 。那么国民医疗保健制度花费或其他地方的承诺就真的是昏庸了，都是谎言 。英国民众受到了误导，这是我生气的地方 。
可以说，在90年代保守党当政的近十年间，内部存在着分歧，今天来看梅杰似乎想把这个分歧撬得更大 。20年前他手下的人有些成为现在脱欧派的倡导者，而他显然对当年自己的遭遇愤愤不平 。同时，在当权的保守党内还有一个人物，一个大人物，他就是伦敦前市长鲍里斯•约翰逊 。那么他怎么理解约翰•梅杰爵士的话，尤其是这位前首相暗指约翰逊先生陈述他的观点仅仅是因为他想成为英国下一任首相？
显然，一方想试图把对话转为人格驱动型对话 。我对欧盟的看法变了 。我们拿回管理权会更加安全 。