Blair favours Brexit poll

Otago Daily Times - - WORLD WEEKEND -

LON­DON: The United King­dom should call a ref­er­en­dum to al­low vot­ers to choose be­tween a no­deal Brexit and stay­ing in a re­formed Euro­pean Union as Bri­tish pol­i­tics is dead­locked over the is­sue, for­mer prime min­is­ter Tony Blair said yes­ter­day.

Less than six months be­fore the United King­dom’s exit from the Euro­pean Union, there is lit­tle clar­ity about how the world’s fifth­largest econ­omy and its pre­em­i­nent in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial cen­tre will trade with the EU af­ter Brexit.

Blair, a for­mer Labour prime min­is­ter, said he did not ex­pect Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May to be able to get a deal through Par­lia­ment so the coun­try should be of­fered a new vote.

‘‘The al­ter­na­tives are all worse be­cause if you do get to a block­age in Par­lia­ment that is what opens up the pos­si­bil­ity of go­ing back to the peo­ple,’’ Blair said.

‘‘If there is block­age . . . it is a very sim­ple ar­gu­ment. You say, look we have been two and a bit years try­ing to reach an agree­ment that works, Par­lia­ment is blocked.’’

Blair has re­peat­edly called for re­vers­ing Brexit, echo­ing other crit­ics such as French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron and bil­lion­aire in­vestor Ge­orge Soros, who have sug­gested Bri­tain could still change its mind. — Reuters

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