General election 2017: Blair warns against Brexit 'blank cheque'

General election 2017: Blair warns against Brexit 'blank cheque'

Tony Blair has called on voters not to elect candidates who "back Brexit at any cost" on 8 June, regardless of which party they represent.

The ex-PM told the BBC that Brexit was a bigger issue than party allegiance in the upcoming general election.

Although the Tories were likely to win, he said a strong Labour performance would constrain Theresa May and stop her from doing whatever she wanted.

Labour's ex-leader has been accused of wanting to overturn the EU referendum.

Mr Blair stepped down from frontline politics in 2007 but has become more politically active in recent months, setting up a think tank in London to make the case for the centre ground and for continued EU membership.


He told the BBC that the opinion polls suggested the Conservatives were on course for a landslide victory and he "wasn't totally sure" what Labour's position was on Brexit.

Speaking to Radio 4's World This Weekend, he said that voters need to know where candidates stood on Brexit and that Theresa May was pursuing an "unreasonable policy" that was driven by the right wing of her party.

He said: "The point is whether I'm Labour or I'm not Labour - even if there's Conservatives or Liberal Democrats - I will work with anyone to get this argument across in the country."

He pledged to put pressure on candidates in each constituency to force them to declare where they stood on the mandate Mrs May should have when negotiating the terms of Britain's exit from the EU.

And he said he was supporting a campaign, also backed by anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, to fund candidates who want to see another, "final" vote on the exit deal.

Mr Blair said he feared that winning a large majority would effectively hand Theresa May "a blank cheque for Brexit at any costs", which was not in the interests of the country.

Although he has ruled out standing for Parliament again after an absence of 10 years, Mr Blair said he felt so passionate about Brexit that he was almost tempted to return to British politics.

"I look at the British political scene at the moment and I actually almost feel motivated to go back into it," he added. "We're just allowing ourselves to be hijacked by what is actually quite a small group of people with a strong ideology."



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