Frederick Forysth writing in the Daily Express has summed up the problem with John Major and his spitting out of his dummy because his legacy is going down the drain. That legacy of working against the British people is in its death throes and hopefully like his legacy…he will disappear.

John Major is bitter and angry about his EU dream being crushed, says FREDERICK FORSYTH

FORMER premier John Major has again vented his personal spleen by claiming this country is no longer a front-rank power in the world and never will be again.

Our path, he predicted in a speech, is irreversibly downward from now on. Let’s examine two aspects: is it true and why did he say it? The second is easy. When any elderly man sees what he always imagined to be the crowning pinnacle of his life’s work reduced to ashes he is likely to become bitter and angry.

John Major

For Major that life’s work was to see the UK locked for ever into the European Union. Within a few days as the “final settlement” talks stumble to their exhausted end that dream will be finally over. No wonder he is bitter and angry.

Just to recap: it was Edward Heath who in 1973 finally ended years of our attempts to enter the Common Market. In the euphoria it was overlooked that the terms screwed out of us by Brussels under French influence were appalling, putting us into permanent subordination. The full price, including the delayed but eventual loss of our fishing waters, was hidden from us and in a referendum under Harold Wilson in 1975 we voted by a clear majority to stay in.

But (overlooked today) that was just the Common Market, a trading arrangement. We have never been anti-trade, just the opposite. We are good at it and it has made us prosperous. But 1992 under Major brought the Maastricht Treaty.

This was presented as a minor development and we never got a second referendum. In fact it was transformational – converting the Market into the EU with a tsunami of fresh power transfers from nation-state to Brussels. It was to revert to full sovereignty that we voted in 2016 when finally given that chance. And John Major has never forgiven us. Hence his bitter speech. But even on facts he is wrong.

In judging the importance of a nation there are four factors. One is size – not in acreage but population. There are 193 nations in the UN but only 23 over 65 million and we are just over 67 million. Second comes technical and scientific development, and only seven rank as highly developed. Much bigger populations than ours cannot qualify for the very top rank. At category Three comes economic prosperity and global “heft”.

Again, seven qualify – USA, China, Russia, India, UK, Germany and Japan. At Four comes the formidableness of the Armed Forces and here we streak into the top five. Germany and Japan cannot do that, valuable allies though they are. It is fashionable among luvvies at home to pooh-pooh our armed and covert forces but no one abroad does.

Overlooked by the Majors of this world are the elite units of the Royal Marine Commandos and the British Paras. So also the Special forces – seldom seen but lethally effective.There are three – the SAS, the SBS and the SRR. Also unseen are the nuclear arm – the Tridentcarrying submarines and strike bombers.

In the modern world the Intel forces are crucially important and ours are the best. Much respected and envied are the SIS, MI5, GCHQ, with its cutting-edge presence in cyberspace. A major factor in modern defence is that constant war against non-state global terrorism. It is our frontrank presence in all these areas that mean the world’s other players keenly desire our presence.

For all these reasons it was stupid of a man who once sat in Downing Street and privy to all this to slag off this country as a has-been.

There was only one has-been in the headlines last week and it was not Great Britain.