Tony Blair compares Brexit to a bad home swap and says voters can stop split

In a related video, Tony Blair says Remain campaign is doing 'reasonably well'IBTimes UK

Tony Blair has compared the Brexit vote to bad home swap, but claimed the electorate could stop the UK breaking away from the EU. The former Labour prime minister, who was in Number 10 between 1997 and 2007, also ruled out returning to the front-line of British politics.

The comments are part of a wide-ranging interview Blair conducted with The New Statesman magazine. "[Brexit] can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain-gain cost-benefit analysis doesn't stack up," he said.

"And that can happen in one of two ways. I'm not saying it will [be stopped], by the way, but it could. I'm just saying: until you see what it means, how do you know?"

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Blair added: "This is like agreeing to a house swap without having seen the other house . . . You've got to understand, this has been driven essentially ideologically.

"You've got a very powerful cartel of the media on the right who provided the platform for the Brexiteers who allied themselves with the people in the Tory Party who saw a chance to run with this.

"And, OK, they ended up in circumstances where there was a very brutal but not particularly enlightening campaign. They won that campaign."

He said a "large number" of the 52% of people who voted Leave at the 23 June referendum will look at the UK's exit from the EU in a "practical, not ideological" way.

"I think, in the end, it's going to be about parliament and the country scrutinising the deal," he said. The remarks come after Theresa May was dealt a major blow by England's High Court.

The prime minister had promised to trigger Article 50, the official mechanism to split from the EU, by March 2017. But judges ruled that MPs would have to have a vote on the issue.

The government is contesting the decision at the Supreme Court on 5 December, with a ruling expected in January 2017.

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Blair, who denied calling current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a "nutter" and describing May as a "lightweight", said he was "dismayed" by the state of Western politics.

"In Britain today, you've got millions of effectively politically homeless people," he said. "I can't come into front-line politics. There's just too much hostility, and also there are elements of the media who would literally move to destroy mode if I tried to do that..."

UPDATE: 18:10, 24 November

A Department for Exiting the European Union spokesperson told IBTimes UK: "This government has made clear that it is determined to respect the result of the EU referendum.

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"We are committed to getting the best possible deal as we leave the EU: one that is unique to Britain, not an 'off the shelf' solution.

"It's not about binary choices - there is a huge range of possibilities for our future trading relationship with the EU. But we are also clear that the UK will make its own decisions about how we control immigration."

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