September 10, 2019
Boris Johnson would be “smart” to hold a referendum on a no-deal Brexit rather than hold a general election he could lose, Tony Blair has declared.
Boris Johnson Would Be ‘Smart’ To Hold No-Deal Brexit Referendum Rather Than Snap Election, Says Tony Blair
The former prime minister said that a snap election this autumn runs the real risk of another hung parliament that would fail to break the impasse over the issue.
But a new referendum - with no-deal versus staying in the EU on the ballot paper - would be a better way for Johnson to get his way, Blair said.
Speaking at the launch of the new King’s College London International School for Government, the ex-PM praised Jeremy Corbyn for not falling into the Tory “trap” of holding polling day before the October 31 Brexit deadline.
However he warned that even a November election would be a bad idea because it would muddy the issue of Brexit with other policies.
“If it’s no-deal that the government is agitating for, go back and put that and say ‘do you want it or do you want to stay?’” Blair said.
“It’s Boris Johnson’s way out. If Boris Johnson was smart he would say ‘OK I’m not blocked in parliament. I’m going to go back to the people and we are going to go back on this specific issue’.
“What’s his biggest risk in a general election? His biggest risk is actually mixing it up [with other issues]. He’s doing it because he thinks he can get no-deal as a result of it but it’s also a risk because he could end up with a hung parliament.”
MPs voted this week for legislation forcing Johnson to seek an extension to the UK’s membership of the EU until after October 31.
Labour’s official position is to hold a referendum with a ‘credible’ Brexit option and a Remain option on any ballot paper, with many frontbenchers saying they should then campaign to stay in the EU.Related... Parliament Prorogued: Scuffles And Bursts Of Song As MPs Protest Shutdown
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