Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has suggested the UK could hold a second referendum to overturn the Brexit vote, calling on Remain supporters to “mobilise” against leaving the European Union.
Although insisting the will of the people should be respected, he also said the people’s will may change and that Remain voters “have to believe in the people’s innate sense, that they’re also open to a better argument in the light of the facts as they come to light”.
Writing in the pro-EU New European newspaper, Mr Blair called on Remainers to organise in order to “prise apart the alliance which gave us Brexit”, declaring: “We are the insurgents now.”
“The issue is not whether we ignore the will of the people,” he wrote, “But whether, as information becomes available, and facts take the place of claims, the ‘will’ of the people shifts.
“Maybe it won’t, in which case people like me will have to accept it.
“But surely we are entitled to try to persuade, to make the argument, and not to be whipped into line to support a decision we genuinely believe is a catastrophe for the country we love.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Friday morning, the former Prime Minister doubled down on his comments, saying that Brexit would be a “catastrophe”.
“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.
Tony Blair has spoken out several times since the referendum to call for the defeated Remain campaign to carry on fighting regardless.
In early September, he said that voters could “change their minds”, adding: “Who made a rule that we have to stop the debate now?”
“There will come a moment when we have had the negotiations and we can see the terms we are being offered by the rest of Europe and we will be able to say that it is a good idea or perhaps that it is a bad idea with major consequences,” he said.