Blair Says Britain Should ‘Keep Options Open’ on EU Membership

  • ‘There’s no rule about this,’ Blair says in Sky News interview
  • Blair says many of the Brexit promises have fallen apart

Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair said the country should keep its options open after the referendum result of June 23 and shouldn’t rush to leave the European Union.

“The referendum expressed the will of the people. But, you know, the will of the people is entitled to change,” Blair said in an interview broadcast Sunday by Sky News. “I’m not saying we have another referendum. I’m simply saying, there’s no rule about this. We’re a sovereign people, we can do what we want to do.” 

Tony Blair

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Tens of thousands of people marched through London on Saturday in protest against the referendum result, which the “Leave” campaign won by 52 percent to 48 percent. “Remain” campaigners say that many of the promises made by their opponents simply can’t be fulfilled and point out that the referendum result isn’t legally binding. 

“Let’s be blunt about it, some of the cases made for Brexit have collapsed,” Blair said. “You have 48 percent that feel quite politically disenfranchised.”

The candidates for the Conservative Party leadership nevertheless appear committed to carrying out the referendum result. “Brexit means Brexit,” frontrunner Theresa May said on Thursday when she launched her campaign for the post.

“There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU,” she said. “No attempts to rejoin it through the back door and no second referendum.”

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