Nick Clegg said he agreed with 'every word' Tony Blair said
The former British Labour prime minister today spoke for about an hour on how voters should “rise up” and change their minds on Brexit because the terms of leaving the European Union (EU) were not made clear before the June referendum.
During Mr Blair’s speech to pro-European group Open Britain, former deputy prime minister under David Cameron, Mr Clegg, tweeted: “I agreed with every single word of that.”
Social media users immediately leaped on his support, with one saying “Lewis Carroll couldn’t have penned anything more insane”.
Simon Powne, said: “To associate with Tony Blair can only mean you are as morally corrupt Nick Clegg!”
Another said: “Nick Clegg agrees with everything Tony Blair said… everything you need to know right there.”
I agreed with every single word of that.
— Nick Clegg (@nick_clegg) February 17, 2017
Mr Blair said there was little clarity over what the vote meant when the referendum took place and that the government was set on "Brexit at any cost".
He said: ”The people voted without knowledge of the terms of Brexit. As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind. Our mission is to persuade them to do so.
"This is not the time for retreat, indifference or despair; but the time to rise up in defence of what we believe."
Current Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to trigger Article 50 and start the process of leaving the European Union next month, and has said she envisions a clean break from the bloc, including leaving the single market. She has also warned politicians against disrupting the process.
Mr Blair criticised Mrs May and other members of the Government, who had backed "remain" in the referendum campaign, for pledging to take Britain out of the single market for political reasons even after they had offered a staunch defence of its merits.
He added: ”They're not driving this bus. They're being driven.”
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Sheffield Hallam MP Mr Clegg’s support of his former Labour rival is contentious as Mr Blair’s reputation remains tarnished by the Iraq War, an issue which resurfaced last year when the long-awaited Chilcott Inquiry was highly critical of his role in the decision to join the 2003 US-led invasion.
While he retains the support of Labour Party moderates, he is reviled by many members who feel he betrayed the party's socialist roots, and his old party has shifted far away from the pro-business centre ground he once championed.
Blair said that among the risks of Brexit, the issue of the break-up of the UK was now "back on the table" and the circumstances for nationalists were now "much more credible" than they were three years ago.
This is not the first time Mr Clegg has supported the former Labour leader, with the Lib Dem MP defending “formidable” Mr Blair for fighting against a hard Brexit in November last year.