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Second referendum on EU membership should not be ruled out, says Tony Blair

ffffddTony Blair has said a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU should not be ruled out.

The former prime minister admitted he did not see a possibility of how a second referendum could be carried out but added: “Why rule anything out?”

After Britain voted to leave the EU on Friday, a petition for a second EU referendum has been signed by more than three million people.

When asked on the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme about the possibility of another vote, he said: “As I’m looking at it here, I can’t see how we can do that.

“But, you know, the point is, why rule anything out right now? As I say, you are going to have a reality to test yourself against.”

Blair said the nation needs to “see the consequences” of Brexit as they play out in the coming weeks and months.

“I can’t see how you would go through all of the mechanics of another referendum now,” he continued. I just can’t see it.

“But on the other hand I also think there will be a lot of people in the country who will say ‘well, let’s have a look at this and see what we are going to do’ and Parliament will want to look at it.”

Blair also warned that negotiating the UK’s new relationship with the EU will be an “agonising and highly complicated process”.

He said that failure to strike a good deal with the EU would have severe consequences for the UK economy.

He said: “If you take for example financial services, if we don’t have the EU passport as it’s called for our financial services what does that mean for the City of London?

“You could have thousands of jobs going, so how do you preserve it?”


However, he also urged the Government not to rush the UK’s divorce with Brussels.

“It is not in the interests of Europe or of Britain to rush this,” he said.

“We are dealing with vast consequences for our economy, for our politics, for our security and we have got to take it very carefully.”