Tony Blair Calls on Britons to 'Rise Up' Against Brexit

Blair EU
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker greets former British Prime Minister Tony Blair ahead of a meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, January 25. Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to give a speech on Friday in which he will encourage pro-European British citizens to "rise up" against Brexit.

Blair will say that the British people voted to leave the European Union "without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit" and should have the "right to change their mind" as the consequences of leaving the EU become clear, the Guardian reported.

The ex-Labour leader, who campaigned for Remain in the referendum, will speak at Open Britain, a pro-EU campaign group.

"Our challenge is to expose relentlessly the actual cost, to show how this decision was based on imperfect knowledge which will now become informed knowledge, to calculate in 'easy to understand' ways how proceeding will cause real damage to the country and its citizens, and to build support for finding a way out from the present rush over the cliff's edge," Blair will say.

Blair will also accuse British Prime Minister Theresa May of misusing the "mantle of patriotism" in making her case for leaving the EU. May has indicated that she intends to trigger Article 50 by the end of March, which will start the two-year transition period before Britain leaves the EU.

Downing Street has said it remains committed to leaving the EU. A spokesman for the British government told the BBC that "there will be no second referendum" on EU membership.

Jeremy Corbyn, the current leader of the Labour party, has also said he will not seek to block the process of exiting the bloc.

Former leader of the Conservative Party and pro-Leave campaigner Iain Duncan Smith said Blair's comments were arrogant and utterly undemocratic, the BBC reported.