Tony Blair has confirmed he is actively working to reverse Brexit, putting him at odds with the official Labour Party position.
“It is reversible,” he told BBC’s Radio 4’s The World This Weekend. “It’s not done until it’s done.”
Asked if he was trying to overturn the “Brexit coalition” between the Government and the majority of Labour MPs, the former Prime Minister replied: “Yes, exactly so.”
He added: “When the facts change, I think people are entitled to change their mind.”
He said the “Brexit coalition was made up of different elements,” adding: “There are some people who believe that membership of the European Union is inconsistent with national sovereignty, now I don’t agree with it, but they hold that view very very strongly – nothing’s going to persuade them.”
But he said there were a significant number of Brexit voters, particularly traditional Labour voters, who had opted to leave because of economic and cultural concerns around immigration.
These people could change their minds if these matters were properly addressed, he added.
He said: “My belief is that, in the end, when the country sees the choice of this new relationship, it will realise that it’s either going to be something that does profound damage to the country, or alternatively, having left the European Union, left the single market, we will try and by some means recreate the benefit of that in some new relationship, in which case I think many people will think, ‘What’s the point?’”
Mr Blair dismissed the often-repeated argument that to derail Brexit would be to go against the will of the people – although he said he accepts many people are perfectly content with the Leave vote .
“The will of the people is not something immutable. People can change their mind if the circumstances change.”
Calling what is happening in the “crumbling” NHS “a national tragedy”, he said it has become clear that the Vote Leave campaign’s promise of £350m per week of additional funding for the health service will not come to fruition.
“It is now very clear I think: one, that there is no extra money for the health service through Brexit and, secondly, we’re actually going to be paying less money to the health service, not more money, because growth is down and because we’ve also got this huge bill for the European Union.
“I think it’s possible now that Brexit doesn’t happen. I think it’s absolutely necessary that it doesn’t happen because I think that every day is bringing us fresh evidence that it’s doing us damage economically. It’s certainly doing us damage politically.
“I think public opinion is moving on, this time last year we were the fastest growing economy in the G7, we are now the seventh.”
Mr Blair, who coined the phrase “the third way” denied he is ready to back a new centre ground political party, saying he wants to work to make sure Labour “becomes yet again the party for proper, modern, progressive politics.”
Referring to his newly formed Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, he said it purpose is to provide “a centre-left progressive modern set of solutions that are about making real change but doing it in a way that doesn’t go back to old-fashioned leftist solutions of the past, or bends the need to the type of rightist populism you see breaking out all over Europe, including here.”