The former British prime minister said on Thursday that the Brexit vote should be given back to the people, putting the question back on the table.
In a Q&A session with Reuters, Tony Blair advised the parliamentarians to vote the Brexit deal down. He said it could result in three scenarios: going back to Brussels to renegotiate, holding a general election and a referendum.
The problem with the negotiations, according to Blair, is not to be blamed on the Prime Minister’s negotiating team. He called British Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab “able and highly intelligent.” The problem is that there are no solutions, he said.
“The one thing that would save her position” would be putting the vote back to the people, meaning the government would need to hold a second Brexit referendum. If May were to do it, Europe would step forward and come up with a “much more attractive offer,” Blair said.
Answering a reporter’s question, Blair said that a ballot sheet in the new referendum should have ‘Remain’ as an option.
The former PM also took a shot at the Tories’ coalition partners, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of the Northern Ireland, who have earlier in the month identified their “red line” when it comes to the Brexit deal.
“I am not surprised at the DUP. The DUP is asking her to do something she… This is classic. I do sympathize with her in this way. They are asking her to do two things that are incompatible. We want you to do a hard Brexit. No, we don’t want a hard border between the north and the south. Yes, we want the UK all to be one. If I was her, I would say: ‘Tell me what your solution is.’ And I’ll suspect they’ll say to her: ‘No, you go work out the solution,’ which is a little unreasonable really. I sympathize with her on that but there is no answer to that problem,” he told the audience.
Speaking about public opinion on Brexit, the former PM said there has been a shift towards remain. However, if the country chose to exit the EU in the second referendum, he would accept the decision and everyone would back it to make it work.
Blair also condemned former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, slamming his anti-EU arguments, exposing them as false.
Blair has repeatedly called for reversing Brexit, warning against its economic downside.
Britain is set to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, with the UK government expect to propose a divorce deal end of October.