Blair vs Brexit

Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

He knows the limitations of his appeal.

It was why he was kept at arms length during the referendum campaign.

But former Prime Minister Tony Blair (loved by half of Labour, hated by the other half) has decided he isn't gonna stay out of the Brexit debate any longer.

So today he made a speech on a stage - the same stage where four years ago former Prime Minister David Cameron (liked by half the Tory party, loathed by the other half) announced the UK would have an IN/OUT referendum on the EU.

Former PM says it is 'people's right to change their mind' Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

Mr Blair said the British people had made a decision but they should be persuaded it was the wrong decision.

He said they were wrong to assume Brexit would control immigration.

He claimed voters did not understand the damaging impact of leaving the single market.

Supporters of Brexit, he added, had put the future of the UK in doubt and destabilised the peace-process in Northern Ireland.

The right-wing press was in part to blame, he added.

And so too was the lack of an effective Opposition.

It was - he said - the people's right to change their mind.

So it's safe to say, Tony Blair didn't hold back.

He thinks he has a right to speak in the debate - even if that might make him even more unpopular.

I'm told he decided to re-launch his campaign after hearing Theresa May's speech a few weeks ago where she announced Britain would be pulling out of the single market.

The campaign - hosted by the pro-EU group Open Britain - is now planning to step up a gear, to be more visible, more aggressive and more confident.

Once upon a time, Tony Blair would carry public opinion with him.

On the issue of Brexit, he will be walking in the opposite direction - and that may prove every bit as big a challenge as his efforts to justify his invasion of Iraq.