Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed his views regarding the ‘Brexit’ vote today to the BBC. He called the vote a ‘catastrophe’ and said that the ‘real-life implications’ of leaving the EU and the single-market opportunities it provided needed to be studied thoroughly.
While he maintained that he had accepted the results of the referendum held in June, he said that there was no harm in looking again at Brexit since there’s now more information available on where the UK is headed.
The representatives for the current government headed by Theresa May commented that while Mr. Blair had every right to express his opinions, there was no question at Downing Street about continuing on with Brexit.
The government’s spokesperson said that the 51.9% of people who voted to leave the EU union had made their views very clear in June and that there was no possibility of a second referendum being held.
People who support Brexit have said that UK trade will be freer when it can trade in isolation as well the government will be able to control the incoming of immigrants from EU nations in a better way.
Mr. Blair held a contrary view and stated that 16 million people who had voted to remain in the EU need to be also taken into consideration when a decision is made. The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has suggested frequently that she will be weighing all of her options when it comes to Scotland’s future ties with EU. This could mean another referendum for Scotland to leave the UK could take place, which may result in making Scotland a free country which can remain in the EU.
Mr. Blair questioned the value of the trade freedoms which Brexit is going to allow the UK, asking if the UK was getting a bad deal by leaving the EU. He said the UK ought to keep its options open when it comes to Brexit in the future. He said that the current information regarding the consequences of Brexit seem to make leaving not worth it. He also said the projected impacts on the economy could change the minds of the people in favour of staying. He maintained however that this could not be achieved without the will of the citizens.
Mr. Blair was criticised for trying to undermine the legitimacy of the June referendum by critics. However there is growing concern among people across the political spectrum regarding the economic consequences of UK leaving the EU. The government is also yet to provide a detailed plan for the process of leaving.