Here’s what he said
Tony Blair the former prime minister has indicated he is to return back to politics as he wants to be “part of the debate” over Brexit.
He has ruled out standing as an MP but wants to focus on “solutions for today’s world.”
Blair has called on Labour voters to consider backing EU Liberal Democrats and Conservatives as he insisted that Brexit is “bigger than party allegiance.” He even said to look for the most pro-EU local candidate even if they are Conservative.
He said to the Daily Mirror last night marking his 20th anniversary of his 1997 election victory: “You need to get your hands dirty and I will. This is not about defying the will of the people. It is saying the will of the people may change when they see the final deal.”
“My prediction is it may take another generation but at some point, we will want to be back in the EU.”
“This Brexit thing has given me a direct motivation to get more involved in the politics.”
“We don’t know yet what the final deal on Brexit will be. We are advocating a very simple British common sense position, which is to say: ‘Let’s see what the Tories come up with first’. Because there is a bit of the Tory Party determined to deliver Brexit no matter what the cost.”
“The single market put us in the Champions League of trading agreements. A free trade agreement is like League One. We are relegating ourselves.”
Blair continued: “I am going to be taking an active part in trying to shape the policy debate and that means getting out into the country and reconnecting.”
“I know the moment I stick my head out the door I’ll get a bucket of wotsit poured all over me, but I really do feel passionate about this. I don’t want to be in the situation where we pass through this moment of history and I hadn’t said anything because that would mean I didn’t care about this country. I do.”
“It is not frontline politics in the sense I am not standing for Parliament. I am not sure I can turn something into a political movement but I think there is a body of ideas out there people would support.”
Blair has been widely criticised over the years over the 2003 invasion of Iraq which has since seen years of turmoil in the region.
He said: “Yep, it’s hard. It’s all about coming to terms with the fact that when you’re running for power you can be all things to all people.”
“But when you achieve power you have to make decisions and when that happens, and the process of government is your life, you become less popular.”
“A lot of the attacks on me are because I am the representative of that type of centre left politics.”
“People on the right are desperate never to have my politics come back to the Labour Party because they know it can end in a Tory defeat.”
“And then unfortunately it has always been the way of the left that it tends to attack its own.”