Brexit: no deal would be impossible with ‘strong opposition’, Former PM claims

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Former Labour prime minister, Tony Blair, has taken an aim at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership as he said a no-deal Brexit would be impossible if there was a “strong opposition”.

Mr Blair, who was Labour prime minister for a decade, hit out at his successor for what he said was “essentially a protest leadership”.

In the wake of deep divisions in the party over Brexit, he insisted the current Labour leader was not capable of unifying the country.

And he argued that leaving the EU without a deal at the end of this month would not be possible if there was “really strong opposition,” the Government would be forced to rule out crashing out of the bloc without an agreement.

He said: “To be very frank, if you had a really strong opposition, I don’t think the Government would for a single moment contemplate a no-deal Brexit.”

His remarks came after Number 10 briefings claimed German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made clear a deal was now “overwhelmingly unlikely”. No 10 sources has claimed Mrs Merkel had told Boris Johnson that Britain could not leave the EU unless it was prepared to leave Northern Ireland behind in a permanent customs union.

European Council president Donald Tusk accused Prime Minister Mr Johnson of engaging in a “stupid blame game” ahead of next week’s crucial EU summit.

Mr Blair described a no-deal Brexit as being an “an incredible thing to contemplate” as he likened it to jumping out of an aircraft without a parachute and instead being given “this new thing” and being told “but we’ve got a lot of faith in it”.

Labour is “hostile territory” for centrists under Jeremy Corbyn and it would be a “tragedy” for that to continue, Mr Blair has said.

Meanwhile Mr Johnson has vowed to take the UK out of the bloc on the October 31 deadline, even if a deal has not be secured.

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