Tony Blair believes that a second EU referendum should not be ruled out, despite last weeks vote
The former British prime minister also suggested MPs would have to take a close look at post-Brexit Britain to assess what effect leaving the Brussels union would have on the UK.
Blair made the comments in an interview with the BBC on Sunday, days after Thursday’s EU referendum, which saw Britain breaking away from the bloc by a 52-48 margin.
Press TV reports:
Asked whether he would support a new referendum, the former premier said: “As I’m looking at it here, I can’t see how we could do that. But the point is: why rule anything out?”
Blair said that both sides of the debate had to focus their attention on reestablishing London’s post-Brexit relations with the 28-member bloc.
“If there is a desire in the Leave camp to try and bring the country back together,” he said, “I think we also have to show a maturity in the politics of Remain and work out how we do this best for the country.”
Calls for a second referendum began days ahead of the June 23 vote, when polls showed little to no margin between both sides.
For example, a petition demanding the UK government to repeat the vote if the “Remain” or “Leave” vote was less than 60 percent with a turnout of less than 75 percent, has been gaining momentum since the poll, reaching more than three million signatures.
The online petition generated so much traffic that Parliament’s website temporarily crashed on Saturday.
However, allegations of fraud in connection with the petition has forced the House of Commons petitions committee to conduct an investigation.
By voting to leave the EU, Blair said Britons had “Taken the decision to swap homes, if you like, without seeing what the other [home] looks like,” he said.
The former PM also warned that Europe faces high Euroskepticism levels across the continent and if many other European countries were to hold a similar referendum, they might produce similar results.
European leaders, who had urged the UK to remain in the EU, are now pressing it to set out a quick timetable for its exit from the bloc, to avoid a long period of “uncertainty.”
Blair said Europe had to avoid hasty decisions with regard to the UK as the two sides were renegotiating mutual ties.