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CLINTON, N.Y. (AP) — Former British Prime Minister David Cameron says it was right for the United Kingdom to hold the referendum that resulted in his nation voting to leave the European Union.

Cameron, the UK’s prime minister from 2010 to 2016, spoke Monday night as part of Hamilton College’s program that brings prominent politicians and celebrities to the central New York liberal arts school.

The Observer-Dispatch of Utica reports that Cameron said the Brexit issue “had to be gripped.” He said the reasons Britons voted in June 2016 to leave the EU included a dislike of the political aspects of union membership and immigration issues.

Cameron gave his talk while negotiations aimed at keeping the UK in the EU continue in Luxembourg. Brexit is scheduled to happen on March 29.