Tony Blair believes that British people should have the right to “change their minds” over Brexit, hinting that he may support a second referendum on the issue.
The former UK Prime Minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday that voters should reconsider Brexit when “we have a clear sense of where we’re going.”
The government has refused to provide a “running commentary” on Brexit, but Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to trigger Article 50, which is the formal pledge to leave the EU within two years, by March 2017.
“The bizarre thing about this referendum is that we took a decision but we still don’t know the precise terms,” Blair said.
“If it becomes clear that this is either a deal that doesn’t make it worth our while leaving, or a deal that is so serious in its implications that people may decide they don’t want to go, there’s got to be some way, either through parliament, through an election, possibly through a referendum, in which people express their view,” he said.
“There is no reason why we should close off any options. The country has taken a decision in a referendum, there is no way that decision can be reversed unless it becomes clear once people see the facts they change their mind,” he added.
52% of voters in the June referendum voted to leave the EU. Those who support Brexit argue that it will allow the UK to regain control of its immigration policy, and give it the freedom to strike new trade deals without seeking approval from other EU countries first.
But Blair warned that EU politicians would be unsympathetic to the UK during negotiations.
“We have to understand that we are not going to be conducting these negotiations with a group of European businessmen who might well decide that they want maximum access to the UK. The people we are going to be conducting these negotiations with are the political leaders of the European Union and their parliaments,” he said.
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