Brexit: Tony Blair throws weight behind Put it to the People march - 'We should have the right to think again'

Colin Drury
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Brexit: Tony Blair throws weight behind Put it to the People march - 'We should have the right to think again'

Brexit: Tony Blair throws weight behind Put it to the People march - 'We should have the right to think again'

Tony Blair has thrown his weight behind the Put it to the People march, saying that a second Brexit referendum is now the only way out of the political crisis engulfing the UK.

The former Labour prime minister said the mass procession through London would be a visible reminder to MPs that there remained huge support for a final say vote on Britain leaving the European Union (EU).

His intervention comes after yet another week of Brexit chaos – and as a petition asking for Article 50 to be revoked topped more than 2 million signatures.

Writing in the Evening Standard, Mr Blair said: “The case for a fresh referendum gets stronger by the day.

“It is not undemocratic to say that before we take a decision of this magnitude — and after all this mess — we should have the right to think again. We should go back to the people. Are they really going to riot because we are asking them if what they thought then they still think now?

“But to be clear: the hyperbolic reaction to the idea of a new vote is less to do with fear of what it will do to democracy than fear of the result democracy might yield. This weekend a huge rally will take place in London in support of a People’s Vote. It will be a reminder to all MPs that the Brexiteers are not the only section of opinion that matters.”

The march, organised by the People’s Vote campaign and supported by The Independent, will begin in Park Lane at 12pm before making its way to Parliament Square where a number of speeches

A similar rally in October attracted almost 700,000 people and hundreds of thousands are expected to take to the streets once more.

With parliament divided, and a no deal Brexit remaining the default legal position if nothing else is agreed, a recent survey for The Independent found that a second referendum was the most popular option, ahead of remaining in the EU, renegotiating with the EU or leaving without a deal.

Mr Blair said: “The British people want closure and an end to the agony. The route is to do what up to now Parliament has not had the opportunity to: debate properly the genuine Brexit options and decide on one; or decide on one but put the final say with the people.”