Labour could have a ‘very very simple position on Brexit’, says Tony Blair
The former prime minister fed Jeremy Corbyn a few lines to use on Brexit.
Jeremy Corbyn was slammed by many Labour Remainers for ordering his MPs to trigger article 50. He was then widely ridiculed for claiming that "the real fight starts now".
But with Labour’s support divided between more prosperous urban constituencies that generally favoured staying in the EU and declining industrial areas that strongly backed Brexit, what else could the Labour leader have done?
According to Tony Blair, it is all quite straightforward.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Blair made it clear he was not calling for a second Brexit referendum at present.
But he suggested that the public mood would change if Brexit did not result in the promised benefits - and that Labour should be ready to capitalise on that.
He also disagreed with the suggestion that, if he was leading Labour today, even Clement Atlee would have "exactly the same problems" as Corbyn with pro-Brexit Labour voters.
"I think the Labour party should have a very very simple position on Brexit and I really don’t think it’s difficult at all," said Blair.
"What the Labour party should say is: We believed in Remain, we still think the best thing is for Britain to be part of the European Union.
"We acknowledge the people voted against that. We acknowledge therefore the Government have a mandate to negotiate Brexit.
"But we are going to hold them to the test that they have set. And if they do not pass that test then we are going to retain the right to represent the people of this country should their will change, to offer them the option of staying, particularly in a reformed Europe..."
"I don't see what's difficult about that."