Ex British PM, Blair, urges May to allow second Brexit referendum

Tony Blair
Tony Blair

Former British Premier, Tony Blair, on Friday called on the country’s current Prime Minister, Theresa May, to hold a second referendum on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

“My advice to her is there’s no point literally in carrying on banging your head against this brick wall,” Mr Blair said in a speech in London on Friday.

“It’s sensible to take your head off the brick wall and think creatively.

“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?’” he said.

Ms May’s Brexit deal has met stiff resistance in parliament, with a vote scheduled for this week postponed for fear of a heavy defeat.

On Thursday, the prime minister was at an EU summit in Brussels, where she sought “legal and political” assurances on the backstop provision for an open border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

This would help her sell the Brexit deal, negotiated between Brussels and London, to domestic lawmakers.

But the 27 other EU member states were clear that they wouldn’t allow any renegotiation of terms.

Time is running short to ensure a smooth British departure from the EU on March 29, 2019.

Failure to finalise the withdrawal deal in time for Britain’s departure could lead to an unregulated Brexit, which would likely cause mayhem for citizens and businesses on both sides of the border.

Similarly, French President, Emmanuel Macron, says it is time for the British parliament to “clearly say whether they accept” the agreement on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

“This agreement, I really think, is good for both sides,” Mr Macron says after an EU summit in Brussels adding, “and it is the only one possible.”

“Today, it is very clearly the time for the British Parliament to take a clear position on the agreement that has been negotiated by May and her teams with the EU and its negotiator, and to clearly say if they accept and ratify this agreement,” Mr Macron said.

(dpa/NAN)

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