Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Tony Blair says Brexit can be stopped as Sir John Major supports bid for second referendum

The Remain-supporting former prime ministers have both re-entered the Brexit debate. Credit: PA

Former prime minister Tony Blair has said Britain's exit from the European Union can be stopped as his predecessor Sir John Major issued his support for a second referendum.

Mr Blair, who has previously called for Britain to keep its "options open" over Brexit, said the process can be brought to a halt.

In an interview with the New Statesman, he said: "It can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain gain cost-benefit analysis doesn't stack up."

Tony Blair, seen at the recent Remembrance Sunday Service, also denied calling Theresa May a 'lightweight'. Credit: PA

The three-term Labour leader added: "That can happen in one of two ways. I'm not saying it will (be stopped), by the way, but it could. I'm just saying: until you see what it means, how do you know?"

His comments came as the man he succeeded in Downing Street warned against Brexit being dictated by the "tyranny of the (52%) majority" who voted for Britain's exit in the EU referendum.

In his first intervention in the debate since the June 23 vote, Sir John told guests at a private dinner that Parliament, not the Government, should make the final decision on any new deal with the EU.

Sir John Major has said Britain must remain in the single market. Credit: PA

He added there was a "perfectly credible case" for a second referendum.

"I hear the argument that the 48% of people who voted to stay should have no say in what happens," Sir John added. "I find that very difficult to accept. The tyranny of the majority has never applied in a democracy and it should not apply in this particular democracy."

A spokesperson for the current Prime Minister reiterated Theresa May's commitment to delivering Brexit and rejected Mr Blair's assessment that Brexit could be stopped.

The PM has been very clear that we are leaving the EU. That was the decision of the British people. There is not going to be any change from that position. We are taking it forward, we will trigger Article 50 and leave the EU.

She is focused on being the Prime Minister that gets on and delivers the decision of the British people, made in a referendum that was backed by Parliament.

– Prime Minister's spokesperson