‘Patronising’ Tony Blair is slammed for saying Brexit voters in the North didn’t understand the issues
TONY BLAIR was accused of patronising northern voters today after he claimed voters in Barnsley and Boston don’t “understand the difference” between staying in and leaving Europe’s single market.
The former Labour PM said Leave voters in the North were wrong to vote Brexit because it will make them poorer and claimed they lacked the right information during the referendum campaign last year.
He told Sky News: “What I say to people – whether it’s in Barnsley or Boston or wherever it is – is yes, we’ve got to provide answers to your problems and your challenges, but this is not the answer.
“This is actually going to distract us from with dealing with the real problems of the country – and it’s going to make us poorer.”
Mr Blair’s latest lecture comes after he flooded the airwaves over the weekend as he launched a further attempt to block Brexit, saying it was “absolutely necessary” to stop Britain leaving the EU.
His comments sparked an immediate backlash as senior Tories hit out at him for insulting northern voters.
Former Tory leader and Brexit campaigner Iain Duncan Smith told The Sun: “Project Fear has now become Project Smear.
“The people of Barnsley and Boston and everywhere else knew very well what they were voting for – take back control – and the problem for Blair is he just doesn’t like it.”
Mocking the former PM over his failed ambition to become EU President, Mr Duncan Smith added: “I’m so sorry now that he can’t find himself the president of Europe job which is what he wanted but the people of Barnsley and Boston aren’t the slightest bit bothered about what he’s thinking about.
“They knew why they made that decision and they made it after a lot of information. Don’t patronise them.”
Brexit minister Steve Baker told Mr Blair to listen to his own party. He said: “The majority of British people voted to leave the EU. The majority of MPs, including Blair’s own Labour Party, voted to trigger Article 50.
“By calling for the decisions of the voters and Parliament to be overturned, Tony Blair is demonstrating once again that he is out of touch.”
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Mr Blair also claimed it was “beyond doubt” that Brexit was already “causing us real damage”.
He told Sky News: “I think it’s absolutely necessary that it doesn’t happen.”