A BOLTON MP has called for Britain to 'stay where we are' and potentially cancel or extend the process of leaving the EU.

During an impassioned speech in the House of Commons yesterday, Sir David Crausby and slammed the 2016 referendum, saying it should never have taken place and that "nobody knew what they were doing".

The Bolton North East MP also said the country would be better to stay in the EU than take prime minister Theresa May's Brexit withdrawal deal, which he called a "betrayal".

“The fact is that what was proposed in the first place by the leave campaign in 2016 does not, and never was, deliverable," he explained.

"We just have to accept in life that there are some things that you can’t do. For my part I always wanted to score the winning goal in a World Cup final in the last minute for England at Wembley after extra-time.

"But, I have come round reluctantly to the view that it will never happen. Likewise, to be the first nation to leave the EU in opposition to 27 other countries and get a good deal for Britain at the same time was always, to say the very least naïve."

Adding: “In crisis we should stay calm and do the sensible thing, not the emotional thing – when in a hole stop digging.”

Mr Crausby was speaking ahead of a key Parliamentary vote yesterday which the government lost, meaning ministers will have to come up with revised plans within three days, rather than the three weeks previously agreed in law, if Mrs May's EU withdrawal deal is rejected by MPs next week.

The long-serving representative pointed to the 1975 EU referendum, in which he voted to leave the EU but has since changed his mind.

He said: “Those who wanted to leave the EU claim that the public didn’t understand the consequences of the Common Market when they first voted in 1975 so they, as was their right, argued for another referendum.

"Now, the same group who want to leave argue that another referendum, a third one, would be an insult to those who voted two years ago because it would be tantamount to saying that those who voted to leave didn’t know what they were doing.

"The truth is that nobody knew what they were doing in 2016, if indeed they did in 1975 and only a few anoraks, mainly in this place actually thought that they knew what they were doing. Some of them I have to say, unfortunately, scarily, still think that they know what they’re doing.

"If there’s been a mistake in this sad saga it’s that we should never have had either referendum in the first place and that is nobody’s fault but the fault of us politicians, we are responsible for this self-inflicted chaos – not the electorate – and we have a duty to resolve it.”

Mr Crausby has said that he would consider a third referendum or People's Vote if the other options fall through, but he used his speech to criticise the way in which he says referendums generally have been "deviously misused" by politicians to help them win general elections.

He said: “The choices may well look unpleasant and humiliating but this is where we are as a country.”

But, Mr Crausby also criticised the EU, specifically pointing to the Common Agricultural Policy, the treatment of fishing communities, freedom of movement for workers, and "unelected bureaucrats".

He added: “The PM should go back to Brussels and make it clear that we will not be bullied, we should leave if we must, in our time and on our own terms and, if we need to take up the option to delay or revoke Article 50 then of course we should do that, we should do whatever is in the interests of the British people and if that creates uncertainty for our markets and an embarrassment for the government then so be it.

"My dad didn’t fight his way through the Second World War to be humiliated and I will not be voting for this cap in hand deal or any other remotely like it.”