Controversial former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair could throw his lot in with the Liberal Democrats in a bid to find political relevance by opposing a hard Brexit from the EU.
Responding to UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s shock snap general election call on Tuesday, Blair said that opposing the most hard-hitting version of Brexit would require crossing party lines.
In a statement on his website, the Iraq War-era Labour chief said: “There has to be a way of ensuring that voters can put candidates for Parliament under sustained pressure to say whether they would vote against a deal which does not deliver the same benefits as we enjoy with the single market or against no deal if that transpires to be as damaging as many fear; and that they are prepared to hold the government properly to account in the interests of the country.”
Outlining the dangers of a Tory government with a substantial majority, Blair said he wants to see “as many MPs as possible with an open mind on this issue who are prepared to vote according to the quality of the deal and the interests of the British people.”
According to the Telegraph, senior Liberal Democrat figures have said Blair “could” join their campaign alongside party leader Tim Farron.
The Lib Dems believe their anti-Brexit position will draw in voters worried about the UK’s divorce from the EU.
They are banking on a resurgence.The party has been stung in the polls before over its choice of alliances.
It was reduced to eight MPs in the 2015 general election as a result of its five-year coalition with the Conservatives and U-turns on a number of key 2010 pledges, particularly student fees.