Loathed former Prime Minister Tony Blair was subjected to savage questioning by ITV host Piers Morgan this morning after he asked the former Labour leader why he can justify there being another Brexit referendum when he did not “go to the people” over the Iraq war. Blair has repeatedly called for there to be a second EU referendum.
The ITV Good Morning Britain host blasted:
I was editor of the Daily Mirror. We opposed the war. We helped run a massive march. 1.7 million people marched through London – the biggest march the country has ever seen.
You did not take the option of asking the people what they thought. You ploughed on with what you thought was the right thing. I’m not here to relitigate the Iraq war with you but why is it different?
Why is Brexit different? Why do we keep having to go back to the people? Why can’t politicians do what they are paid to do?”
Responding Blair said the difference between his actions during the Iraq war and the current state of Brexit negotiations is that there was a referendum in June 2016, before he quickly moved on to state why he thinks Britain should have another Brexit vote.
Blair also claimed the “only way” to resolve the Brexit impasse is to either Remain in the EU or to Leave but “on terms that makes it clear this is hard Brexit”.
The former Prime Minister said:
It’s a really good question but we did have a referendum and that is the difference.
And having had the referendum, I don’t think Parliament can just make up its mind now. I think the only thing that would be regarded as valid is going back to the people.
So, I think the question is difficult but I think you have got to have a question that allows the people who really want, if you like, the proper Brexit to make their case. It allows people like me to make our case.
Both of us make it on the basis of the experience of what Brexit really means, rather than claim and counterclaim.
I think the debate this time it would be, frankly, much more realistic because both sides can’t make whatever claims they want.
When I came in 1997 I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and, frankly, I thought you could please all of the people all of the time. And I learnt very quickly that you can’t.
In the end, I came to the view that you should take decisions – that’s your job. You may take them and people disagree with them. That is their right.”
Obviously, I think it is unfair if people think literally Iraq is all there is. You know, there are many other things that we did.”