Tony Blair accused of ‘arrogance’ over call to 'rise up’ against Brexit

Tony Blair has been accused of “insulting the intelligence” of voters and “arrogance” after he urged opponents of Brexit to “rise up” against leaving the EU. The former prime minister said voters backed severing ties with Brussels without knowing the true cost and should have the chance to change their minds. In a speech in London, Mr Blair questioned whether the referendum had given a mandate for “Brexit at any cost”.

The debilitation of the Labour Party is the facilitator of Brexit. I hate to say that, but it is true.

Tony Blair

But his intervention has drawn the ire of Brexit supporters, with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accusing him of “insulting the intelligence” of those who voted to leave. In an impassioned speech, Mr Blair rejected the idea that leaving was now “inevitable”, adding: “I accept right now there is no widespread appetite to re-think. Mr Blair acknowledged that concerns over immigration were a big reason for the Leave victory - but said Brexit would only give the UK control over 12% of migration to Britain. The three-time election winner also warned that leaving the EU gave the SNP a more credible case for Scottish independence.