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Britain could hold second EU vote, says ex-PM Blair

08 November 2016

Britain’s former prime minister Tony Blair said Friday there was nothing preventing a second Brexit referendum.

And warned that the break-up would be “very, very tough” as European leaders were in an unforgiving mood.

He called on fellow “Remain” supporters to “mobilise and to organise” against proponents of Brexit, writing in The New European newspaper that “we’re the insurgents now”.

“There is absolutely no reason why we should close off any options,” he later told BBC radio.

“We are entitled to carry on scrutinising, and, yes, if necessary, to change our minds. This is not about an elite overruling the people.

“If it becomes clear that this is either a deal that doesn’t make it worth our while leaving; or, alternatively, a deal that is going to be so serious in its implications that people decide they don’t want to go, there’s got to be some way, either through parliament, or through an election; possibly through another referendum,” he added.

The Downing Street office of Prime Minister Theresa May immediately rejected the suggestion, with a spokesman stressing “there will be no second referendum, Britain is leaving the European Union.”

“Tony Blair is entitled to put his views to whom he so chooses,” said the spokesman, according to the Press Association.

“But what’s important is the PM has been absolutely clear – the British people have spoken, we are listening, we’re going to leave the European Union.”

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