Brexit could still be stopped – if the EU accepts fundamental reform, not least when it comes to freedom of movement – Tony Blair will today claim.
Hot on the heels of yesterday's anti-Brexit speech from his predecessor Sir John Major, Blair will tell Brussels that Europe holds the key to "getting Britain to change its mind". The former Prime Minister will say the 2016 referendum should be viewed as a "wake-up call" – but a decision that could still be reversed.
Taking a similar position to Major, he will stress that the public should be given a final say on the deal, and that parliament may well reject whatever Theresa May is able to secure during the ongoing negotiations.
But if rapid reform is carried out, there will be an alternative for Brits to adopt.
Blair will say: “A comprehensive plan on immigration control, which preserves Europe’s values but is consistent with the concerns of its people and includes sensitivity to the challenges of the freedom of movement principle, together with a roadmap for future European reform which recognises the issues underpinning the turmoil in traditional European politics and is in line with what many European leaders are already advocating, would be right for Europe and timely for the evolving British debate on Brexit.
“If at the point Britain is seized of a real choice, not about whether we like Europe or not – the question of June 2016 – but whether on mature reflection the final deal the British Government offers is better than what we have, if, at this moment, Europe was to offer a parallel path to Brexit of Britain staying in a reforming Europe, that would throw open the debate to transformation.”