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Tony Blair: 'Absolutely necessary' that Brexit does not happen

Tony Blair: 'Absolutely necessary' that Brexit does not happen

"The European leaders, certainly from my discussions, are willing to consider changes to accommodate Britain, including around freedom of movement", the former Labour prime minister said in an article published by his Institute for Global Change.

The damage to the economy and livelihoods caused by a break from the 28-nation bloc is becoming clearer as divorce proceedings continue and a compromise with the European Union shouldn't be ruled out, Blair said on Saturday in an essay e-mailed by his office.

In an article insisting European Union withdrawal can be stopped, Mr Blair said Jeremy Corbyn's "ambiguity" about leaving the single market was a policy that could not be sustained.

He wrote: "Rational consideration of the options would sensibly include the option of negotiating for Britain to stay within a Europe itself prepared to reform and meet us half way".

He thinks Europe has found a new reformer in President Macron, and that they could be willing to cut the United Kingdom a better deal on immigration if we will stay "I think they are open to the discussion because they know the damage Brexit will do" he says.

Blair praised the current leader of the Labour Party, left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, for mobilising young voters in last month's general election in which May lost her majority in parliament.

On Brexit, Mr Blair said: "If Labour continues to be for leaving the single market, and the signs are that it will, then we are essentially for the same policy as the Government".

"Yet this option is excluded".

And he also urged centrist Labour MPs not to give up trying to change the direction of the party, arguing that the election successes were in part down to voters not believing Mr Corbyn had a chance of becoming prime minister.

The pro-Brexit Leave Means Leave campaign said Blair's comments showed how out of touch he is with voters.

"Europe knows it will be poorer and less powerful without us".

"Our savings ratio is at the lowest for 50 years, the investment community internationally has now gone really negative on us, our currency's down 10-12%, investment in the motor auto industry, for example, is down 30%, living standards are stagnating". Brexit, he said, is the biggest political decision since the Second World War.

"Given what is at stake, and what, daily, we are discovering about the costs of Brexit, how can it be right deliberately to take off the table the option of compromise between Britain and Europe so that Britain stays within a reformed Europe?"