Thousands rally in central London to protest Brexit plan


Blair said many senior politicians know that leaving the European Union is a grave error that will cause deep economic hardship but feel "trapped" by the referendum vote and as a result are supporting Brexit even though they don't believe in it.

The paper also proposes seeking an "emergency brake" to implement temporary controls on migration when services are stretched - a strengthened version of a deal offered to former Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of the referendum. "There are answers to the anger, there are answers on tuition fees, on social injustice, on communities left behind".

"The technological revolution, infrastructure, making sure that we are geared up to the enormous changes that are coming down the pipe at us".

Critics have pointed to his Labour government's decision not to apply transitional controls to eastern European migrants in 2004.

"There can be no change to Brexit unless we confront the underlying causes of it", Blair said, conceding that the referendum vote showed a widespread feeling that unchecked immigration was forcing wages down, straining public services, and - particularly when it involves conservative Muslims - raising questions of cultural integration.

"But the real point is that the times were different; the sentiment was different; and intelligent politics takes account of such change".

Mr Blair, who is Labour's most successful leader winning three elections, said the grievances which led to Brexit had to be addressed before trying to reverse it.

Before addressing Lib Dem activists who are joining the march, leader Sir Vince Cable told the Press Association: "I think a lot of the people who are dealing with it directly and who don't necessarily have a political axe to grind are pretty horrified actually because they see the potential for disastrous negotiations".

But Sir Michael dismissed Mr Blair's comments, telling Marr: "It's a bit late now this epiphany, I'm not sure where he's been; well, we know where he's been, he's being travelling the world". The former prime minister argues that by bringing in proper immigration controls it would be possible to take back control of Britain's borders without leaving the EU.

The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has said he is "rock solid confident" the United Kingdom will clinch a deal with the European Union after Brexit.

Pro-EU Conservative Ken Clarke told Sky News it was "hopeless" to think the United Kingdom could stay in the EU, given the "mood of the country". The mood in the country is it's hopeless to expect that.