Blair is correct about keeping options open on Brexit

By Dave Bodimeade.

Tony Blair is correct that we are now pursuing ‘Brexit at any cost’. It’s no contradiction to say you accept the referendum result but reserve the right to change your mind when you see the Brexit terms.

If you agreed to buy a new house but discovered, prior to exchanging contracts, that there were huge problems with it, you would obviously cancel the deal. You wouldn’t proceed anyway because the vendors were a lovely couple and had promised to leave the curtains.

I’ve no doubt millions voted to leave the EU lock, stock and barrel. But millions also voted to leave the EU whilst believing we would protect trade and jobs by staying in the Single Market and Customs Union.

Boris Johnson says Blair ‘insults the intelligence of the British people’.
This is from the man who told us the NHS would get an extra £350 million if we left the EU. That’s £350 million every single week. Yes, Britain has become great again. Yet we are the only nation in the world that has been tricked by a bus.

It is right that Theresa May now negotiates the best possible Brexit deal.
But fast forward to 2019 (or possibly later). What if the deal is very unpopular with the public because it seriously damages the economy and jobs?

So close to the 2020 general election, that puts May’s premiership in serious jeopardy if she agrees the deal. What better way for May to get off the hook than by putting the deal to another referendum? ‘The people voted to leave the EU so it’s entirely reasonable for them to endorse the deal’, I can hear May say.

You may think that’s all speculation and wishful thinking, and can’t happen because Article 50 is irreversible. Who knows? We are in unchartered territory because Article 50 has never been triggered before. If the EU and Britain want to do a deal that leaves Britain in the EU then it can, regardless of Article 50. Any deal, to leave or stay, needs the endorsement of the European Parliament and the other 27 national parliaments.

Two years ago no-one would have forecast the huge change we’ve seen with Brexit and our new best friend, Donald Trump. So who can predict how the world will look in another two years?

Dave Bodimeade, former Chair and Secretary, Rayleigh and Wickford CLP – you can email David at and follow him on Twitter: @davesuncat

One thought on “Blair is correct about keeping options open on Brexit

  1. David Flack says:

    Blair is being totally disengenuous. His premature intervention demonstrates both his contempt for democracy and his ongoing campaign to destabilise the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. It is absolutely right for Corbyn to insist that The party should support the result of the referendum and trigger article 50.

    We should all be holding our fire until the terms of Brexit are known. If as I suspect will be the case, the terms are unacceptable and will make the lives of working people poorer. That will be the time for Labour to reject the terms and demand that the issue is put to the people again. I am sure that this option is firmly in the minds of the leadership.

    For once I am in agreement with Dave Bodimeade in that Parliament (thanks to Ms Miller and the Supreme Court) is sovereign on this issue and what it chooses to do , it can undo. If the terms are unacceptable and rejected in second referendum it would be open for Parliament to withdraw the article 50 application . However, to oppose the triggering of the article 50 process now in the face of the referendum decision without knowledge of the terms is simply an effort on the part of elitists to oppose the will of the people , when the terms are known to be nothing like those promised by the Brexiteers in the referendum campaign it would be legitimate to take the issue back to the people.

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