Theresa May launches furious attack on Tony Blair for ‘undermining’ her on Brexit

|Zoe Drewett, METRO|AIWA! NO!|Theresa May launched a vicious attack on former prime minister Tony Blair for calling for a People’s Vote, accusing him of ‘undermining’ her Brexit talks.

She said Mr Blair was ‘insulting’ the British people and warned a second referendum would amount to Parliament abdicating responsibility. Her furious criticism came amid reports some of her most senior allies in the Cabinet are secretly planning for exactly that – a second vote on the final terms of the deal.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a press conference on December 14, 2018 in Brussels on the second day of a European Summit aimed at discussing the Brexit deal, the long-term budget and the single market. - May says further Brexit talks will take place with EU in coming days, AFP reported on December 14. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May attacked Tony Blair for ‘insulting’ the British public with his calls for a second referendum on Brexit (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Theresa May attacked Tony Blair for ‘insulting’ the British public with his calls for a second referendum on Brexit (Picture: AFP/Getty) Tony Blair has publicly called for a People’s Vote (Picture: PA)

The Prime Minister said there are ‘too many people who want to subvert the process for their own political interests’. She added: ‘For Tony Blair to go to Brussels and seek to undermine our negotiations by advocating for a second referendum is an insult to the office he once held and the people he once served. ‘We cannot, as he would, abdicate responsibility for this decision. ‘Parliament has a democratic duty to deliver what the British people voted for.’

File photo dated 29/03/18 of Tony Blair. Theresa May has hit out at Mr Blair, accusing him of "insulting"the British people and the office of prime minister by "undermining" Brexit talks with calls in Brussels for a second referendum. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday December 16, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit Referendum. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Tony Blair has publicly called for a People’s Vote (Picture: PA)

The outspoken attack came after The Sunday Times claimed Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, Mrs May’s defacto deputy, has met Labour MPs to discuss a cross-party consensus on the idea of a new vote.

The newspaper also said Mrs May’s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell was supportive of the idea. A particularly bruising week for the PM saw her narrowly avoid a vote of no confidence from MPs in her party and saw her postpone the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal in the House of Commons.

The UK has had enough Then, her appeals for the EU to be more flexible on backstop proposals for the Irish border were largely rebuffed at a summit of European leaders. The backstop, aimed at preventing the return of a hard border in Ireland, would see the UK remain under EU customs rules if no wider trade agreement had been struck by the end of an implementation period. Critics are said to be concerned about the temporary nature of the backstop.

Prime Minister David Cameron (centre right), alongside Lord Ahmad (second left), Home Secretary Theresa May (centre left ), and Louise Casey (right), chairs the first meeting of his new Community Engagement Forum at 10 Downing Street, London.

Theresa May served in David Cameron’s government (Picture: PA) David Cameron

What do other former British prime ministers have to say about Brexit?  Mrs May’s old boss triggered the EU referendum, campaigned to Remain, then quit as an MP and left Number 10 when he lost the historic vote.

He has remained virtually absent from the ensuing debate over Brexit but earlier this month, he said he did not regret calling the referendum, adding: ‘Obviously I’m very concerned about what’s happening today but I do support the Prime Minister in her efforts to try and have a close partnership with the European Union.’

Gordon Brown Brexit has left the country divided and led to a breakdown of trust within the electorate, according to Gordon Brown. In October, Blair’s successor predicted a future referendum on Brexit will take place. He said if Britain leaves the EU without a deal in March 2019 but with, as he expects, an extended transition period retaining some aspects of membership, the next general election will be fought on Europe.

Blair made Theresa May angry after saying she must stop ‘banging (her) head against this brick wall’ and go for a second referendum. He said the country had been ‘held hostage’ by division in the Tories, but said it wouldn’t make a difference if it was a Labour or Conservative ‘or a divine government’ running the negotiations.

He described the ‘disentangling’ process of Brexit as ‘hideously complex’ and said all options of leaving the EU have ‘significant drawbacks’ compared with staying in. 

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