Blair’s intervention came as Prime Minister Theresa May ended a punishing week in which she pulled a vote on her Brexit deal from the UK House of Commons and survived a confidence vote brought by her own party — with a largely fruitless trip to Brussels and little sign that she would ever be able to win parliamentary backing for the deal.
Speaking at a People’s Vote event in London, Blair argued that going back to the British people in a second referendum was the proper thing to do now that people better understood what was at stake and that this would bring the country the “closure” it craves, rather than disunity.
Ultimately, this could even make sense to the PM, who could perfectly legitimately say, ‘I did my best, my deal was rejected by Parliament, and you the people must give direction that Parliament cannot,'” he said in his address.
Polling indicates that support for a second referendum on the final Brexit deal as promoted by the People’s Vote campaign is growing, Blair said, at the same time as support for the original decision to leave has fallen.
In his speech, Blair also urged European leaders to prepare for the possibility of a second referendum and to show that it understood the concerns of British citizens and wanted them to remain, rather than being “passive spectators” to the Brexit debate.