Tony Blair calls for second referendum to fix May's 'halfway house' deal
Tony Blair has slammed Theresa May’s Brexit deal, suggesting a second referendum is the only solution to resolving the Brexit stalemate.
On Good Morning Britain, the former Prime Minister said he couldn’t see any other way to resolve the issue.
“When you lose but the other side are as divided as to what form of Brexit is correct or not, the only sensible way is to put it back to people and say, ‘you have had your 30 months of experience, do you want to stay?’”
He criticised May’s deal for being unable to “please the people who advocated Brexit most strongly.”
Blair recommended having people choose between remaining in the EU, or having a Boris Johnson-esque ‘hard Brexit’.
“I honestly think if you’re going to leave, leave. But don’t do this halfway house,” he said, referring to May’s negotiations which see the UK continue to be regulated by certain EU stipulations even after the March 29th departure.
However, he conceded May is in a very burdensome role, and praised her effort.
“I respect her completely; it’s a hugely difficult position she’s in,” he said.
“She is a perfectly reasonable person surrounded by unreasonable people."
Blair didn't let the Labour Party off the hook either. He revealed he and Jeremy Corbyn don't agree on many things, and the Labour leader has never called him for advice on leading the party.
“What he should do is take a strong position and I think what the country wants is leadership on the issue, and clarity,” he told Good Morning Britain.
The former PM is no stranger to making controversial decisions from Downing Street. During his tenure as Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, the UK would back the US and fight the Iraq War - a divisive issue that would bring his ten-year career crashing down. Following reports of war casualties, as well as accusations of misleading Parliament on the claims Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Blair was forced to resign.
The former Prime Minister said he understood the public’s reaction to the war, and he took his decision in stride - whether it was the right one or not.
“I understand if you don’t agree with the decision and now don’t want to listen to me, but I took the decision in good faith.”
Whilst he doesn’t regret aiding the US in overthrowing Iraq’s then-leader Saddam Hussein, he said he would have approached the plan differently.
When asked about his biggest regret, he said it was: “failure to understand the depth of this Islamist religious problem in the Middle East.”
“Can the religion of Islam find its proper place in the modern world, or is it turned into a political ideology which then tries to govern countries and societies? I think that battle is being played out all over the Middle East today."