The former leader of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, has told an audience in Lisbon that there is still time to stop a Brexit that will only either be “pointless or painful.”
Britain is due to leave the European Union in less than five months, although negotiators representing Britain and the EU have so far failed to agree the terms of withdrawal.
Blair has long opposed Britain’s departure from the economic and political bloc and told a Web Summit 2018 audience on Wednesday “up to the very end, I am going to do everything I possibly can to stop it.”
The former leader, who led the Labour party which is now in opposition, then outlined how he saw Brexit failing.
First, Blair claimed that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal is going to lead to a parliamentary defeat and that then would trigger either a General Election, a fresh Brexit referendum, or a “no deal” where the U.K. crashes out of the EU and reverts to WTO rules for trade.
Dismissing the last option, Blair then claimed the ruling Conservative Party would be “suicidal” to go the polls.
“Let’s assume they’re not, they won’t want an election. No deal is obviously absurd. I think at least we should have the chance to go back to the people,” he said.