Tony Blair: UK should hold ‘people’s vote’ over Brexit

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will push for another Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom amid the government’s negotiations with the European Union over an agreement for Britain to leave the European governing body.

Blair will speak Friday at a People’s Vote event in London, according to the BBC and Sky News, which report that the former prime minister will urge the government to support a second nationwide vote on whether to leave the EU following months of negotiation over the issue and concern that an initial referendum was done in haste.

{mosads}”The real reason we should have another referendum is that we have had 30 months of negotiation and let’s be clear, we are in crisis mode on this,” Blair told BBC’s Radio 4.

“The government is in a mess. Parliament cannot agree. Our knowledge has been vastly enlarged of what leaving the European Union will mean,” he continued.

“If you look at all of this mess, how can it be undemocratic to say to the British people, ‘OK in light of all of this, do you want to proceed or do you want to stay?'”

Britain’s decision to leave the EU passed narrowly in a referendum last year, buoyed by the right-wing U.K. Independence Party and some eurosceptic members of the Conservative and Labour parties.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has faced criticism in recent months for her government’s negotiations and was recently forced to cancel a vote in Parliament on her Brexit deal due to lack of support.

Some members of Parliament are opposed to a second Brexit referendum, warning that such a vote would only worsen the country’s political divisions. But Blair plans to warn in his speech that leaving the EU in such a manner would be more damaging for the U.K. than remaining.

“Things do not need to be like this. We have free will. It is past time to exercise it. Brexit is not some form of natural disaster, Brexit is man-made,” Blair plans to say, according to Sky.

“And parliament has rightly set its face against such an outcome. Therefore, to insist that we crash out with all the disastrous implications of such a thing, rather than put the matter back to the people, would be an extraordinary dereliction of duty,” his planned remarks continue.

Tags Brexit Parliament Theresa May Tony Blair United Kingdom

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