Theresa May condemns Tony Blair’s new Brexit vote call

Theresa May and Tony BlairImage copyright Getty Images/PA

Theresa May has attacked one of her predecessors – accusing Tony Blair of “undermining” the Brexit talks by calling for another referendum.

She called his comments an “insult to the office he once held” and said MPs could not “abdicate responsibility” to deliver Brexit by holding a new poll.

Mr Blair said MPs might back a new vote if “none of the other options work”.

It comes after Labour MPs who support the idea met Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington to make their case.

About 10 MPs met Mr Lidington on Thursday to argue for another public vote and make it clear there was no other government plan they could support.

But many senior Labour figures are deeply uneasy about endorsing another referendum.

And the government is opposed to any further referendum, saying the public made a clear choice when they voted in 2016 to leave by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said Mrs May’s criticism of Mr Blair was striking for its anger.

Mrs May said: “For Tony Blair to go to Brussels and seek to undermine our negotiations by advocating for a second referendum is an insult to the office he once held and the people he once served.

You may also like:  Press Release: Countering chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats from outside the EU: better governance, but cooperation should be more targeted, say Auditors

“We cannot, as he would, abdicate responsibility for this decision.

“Parliament has a democratic duty to deliver what the British people voted for.”

She added that there were “too many people who want to subvert the process for their own political interests – rather than acting in the national interest”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionTony Blair tells Today the EU would help the UK remain if it was “prepared to think again”

MPs were due to vote on Mrs May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday, but it was postponed when the prime minister admitted it would have been “rejected by a significant margin”.

After postponing the vote in Parliament, Mrs May travelled to Brussels to make a special plea to EU leaders, in a bid to make her deal more acceptable to MPs.

However, the EU said there could be clarification but not renegotiation.

Many of Mrs May’s MPs are concerned that the “backstop” – which is aimed at preventing a hard border in Northern Ireland – would keep the UK tied to EU rules and limit its ability to strike trade deals.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has told the BBC a second referendum would not end the deadlock over Brexit but might simply extend the impasse.

You may also like:  Press statement by Michel Barnier following the July 2018 General Affairs Council (Article 50)

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he urged politicians to back the PM’s plan, describing it as “balanced” and the “best of both worlds”.

Mr Hinds accused some in Parliament of “wishful thinking” in believing they will get something closer to their own view by rejecting Mrs May’s deal, adding: “There is really no reason to believe that’s true.”

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionTheresa May: ‘If we are to leave with a deal this is it’

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the UK will “flourish and prosper” even if it leaves the EU with no deal.

“We’ve faced much bigger challenges in our history,” he said.

“But we shouldn’t pretend that there wouldn’t be disruption, there wouldn’t be risk, and there wouldn’t be impact and that’s why as a responsible government we have to make all the preparations necessary.”

He also said he wanted a “crack” at succeeding Mrs May after the PM takes the country through “this challenging next few months”.

His comments come after Mrs May made it clear she would step down before the next general election – due in 2022.

Share this News

Ads Blocker Detected!

We show Ads on Ajibotic.com to help fund its maintenance. Ad revenue is only Our Source Of Income. If you like our News Website  please support our efforts by allowing ads on our site.

Thank You!

Close