Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair has fuelled speculation he is ready to work with the Lib Dems to fight Brexit in the general election, urging voters to back any candidate opposing leaving the European Union (EU).
He said “unique circumstances demand a unique response” and that “this should cross party lines” in an unprecedented 1,200-word statement last night.
According to The Telegraph, Senior Liberal Democrats have “confirmed” Mr. Blair “could” join forces with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron to campaign against Brexit at the 2017 general election.
Mr. Farron responded on Wednesday, however, tell LBC radio that sharing a platform with Mr. Blair is “not on the cards”.
“I have only heard that via another journalist. I have had no invitation so far,” he said, but added: “I take the view that it is good to work with people in other parties.”
— John Rentoul (@JohnRentoul) April 18, 2017
“The political situation the country faces is unprecedented and dangerous,” wrote Europhile Mr. Blair, who pushed to take the UK in the euro during his decade in power.
“We risk a Parliament which is lop-sided in its make-up; which has a big Tory majority – in part delivered not because of the intrinsic merits of Brexit or the Tories themselves but because of the state of Labour; where they will claim a mandate to take us wherever they will; when we desperately need representatives who will at least keep an open mind.
“This requires the electorate in every constituency to know where the candidates stand; and the mobilisation of the thousands in each constituency to make it clear that for them this issue counts when it comes to their vote.”
However, Mr. Blair insisted he was “not urging tactical voting or some anti Tory alliance; I am urging that, as part of this election campaign, we create the capacity for the people to know exactly what the choices are; and elect as many MPs as possible with an open mind on this issue who are prepared to vote according to the quality of the deal and the interests of the British people”.