‘People are entitled to change their mind’: Tony Blair confirms he is fighting to cancel Brexit
In an interview on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday, Blair said he is campaigning to stop Britain leaving the European Union because promises made by the ‘Leave’ side during the referendum campaign have been found to be untrue.
He specifically referred to the infamous “£350 million a week for the National Health Service” claim that the Leave side used as one of its main arguments.
Blair, whose own legacy in the UK was heavily damaged by the country’s involvement in the Iraq War, said that what was happening to the NHS was a “national tragedy” and that it was “very clear” that leaving the union would not result in greater funding for the “crumbling” health service.
“A lot of people will have voted for Brexit on the basis that if you get out of Europe, all this money is going to come back and we can spend it on the health service. And that was a very specific promise made by the Brexiteers,” he said on the program.
“It is now very clear I think: one, that there is no extra money for the health service through Brexit and, secondly, we’re actually going to be paying less money to the health service, not more money, because growth is down and because we’ve also got this huge bill for the European Union.
“So when the facts change, I think people are entitled to change their mind.”
A poll carried out during the summer found that more than a quarter of people who voted for Brexit believe they were misled by the Leave campaign.
The poll, which was carried out by Opinium, found that almost 10 percent of them would vote to remain in the EU if a second referendum was called.
Blair also cited potential damage to the peace process in Northern Ireland as a reason to back out of exiting the EU.
“We cannot allow some kind of collateral damage or unintended consequence of Brexit to [be] the recreation of a border on the island of Ireland,” he said.
“If you end up with a hard border, obviously that causes tensions. It doesn't mean that you should abandon the Good Friday Agreement, but it poses real challenges to it.”