Tony Blair: Britain will be a 'serious country' again after Brexit

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Tony Blair refused to comment on whether Theresa May should resign as Prime Minister during a conference in Dubai (PA)

Tony Blair is confident Britain will ‘get back on its feet’ after Brexit.

The former prime minister said he was determined to be part of the debate as he passionately believes Brexit is a mistake.

But, speaking at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai at the weekend, Mr Blair said it was not the time for him to comment on whether Theresa May should resign.

Mrs May battling to win MP support and pass her Brexit deal through Parliament before the new deadline day of April 12 (PA)

The former PM was asked by Varkey Foundation chairman Vikas Pota whether he agreed with Tory peer Lord Gadhia’s comments that Mrs May will not last to the end of the week.

Mr Blair replied: “I have done the job of being prime minister, and I know how difficult it is. Frankly, she doesn’t need me making it anymore difficult in this particular moment in time.”

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“The one thing I do say to everyone though is that my country is going through a really difficult period, that’s for sure, but don’t write us off. It has been a big mess, we are in a lot of trouble, it has evoked a national crisis.

“But I absolutely promise you one way or another – I obviously have very strong views about Brexit – but whatever happens on Brexit, one way or another Britain will get back on its feet again, will be a serious country again.

“We will sort ourselves out.”

Mr Blair told reporters it was important for him to use his experience in Government to inform the current debate around Brexit (Getty)

Mr Blair, an outspoken critic of Brexit, said Britain is in “a moment of real crisis”.

The former PM said if a leader is struggling to get the support of those around them, it becomes “very challenging, very difficult, if not impossible”.

Asked whether he thought Mrs May was now at her “least popular and most capable”, he replied: “I am not sure about that one.”

Mr Blair also explained that while he was no longer on the front line, he felt it was an important duty to use what he had learned from his time in government to help inform the debate.

He said: “This is why on the Brexit thing, even though I am not on the front line any more, I believe so passionately it is a mistake for my country, that I feel absolutely determined to be part of it.”

Mr Blair has consistently maintained his position as a strong supporter of a second referendum.

On Radio 4’s ‘Week in Westminster’ programme, the outspoken former politician called for the proposed series of ‘indicative votes’ on alternatives Brexit deals to be postponed.

Mr Blair said it was be better to have a debate on deal alternatives after the run up to Mrs May’s new deadline day of April 12, when there will be less pressure to rush through votes.

He told the programme: ‘The most difficult thing for MPs will be: do they try and do these so-called indicative votes fast and get a conclusion by 12th April?

‘I personally would not do that, but I think they’ll be under huge pressure to do it. It would be better if we took a longer time to do it.’