Tony Blair says the British people should rise up and stop Brexit

Jasper Jolly
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Tony Blair Gives Pro-Eu Keynote Speech
The former Prime Minister kept a low profile before the referendum (Source: Getty)

Tony Blair this morning made a dramatic return to the front line of British politics, launching a new campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union.

The former Prime Minister told the British people to “rise up” against the referendum vote and stop the process of leaving the Union. He said a second referendum could still be a possibility, although ruled out forming a new political party.

Blair said: "You could have a second referendum; you could do it in lots of different ways."

Read more: Tony Blair's Brexit speech in full

"The will of the people is not some fixed immutable thing that can never change," he added.

Britons voted to leave the EU "without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit", Blair said in the speech organised by Open Britain, a pro-EU campaign group born out of the Remain campaign.

Read more: Blair and Clegg risk damaging British business by seeking to block Brexit

And in a reference towards comments made by current Prime Minister Theresa May, Blair said he will "build support for finding a way out from the present rush over the cliff's edge."

May previously said the UK would pursue a transitional deal to avoid a “cliff edge” for British business, after industry groups expressed fears of an abrupt change to World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade terms if no changeover plans are agreed.

Blair was scathing in his criticisms of the government, saying it "has bandwidth for only one thing: Brexit."

Blair also said "the term 'Hard Brexit' requires amendment. The policy is now 'Brexit at any cost'."

Read more: Tony Blair just said he's not returning to the front line of politics

"Our challenge is to expose, relentlessly, the actual cost,” he added.

However, Blair was also critical of the party he formerly led, saying, "The debilitation of the Labour party is the facilitator of Brexit."

Labour joined the Conservatives in the House of Commons to vote through a bill enabling the government to trigger Article 50, the clause of the Treaty of the European Union which allows nations to leave the union.

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