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Theresa May accuses Tony Blair of 'undermining' Brexit negotiations

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By Alice Cuddy
Theresa May accuses Tony Blair of 'undermining' Brexit negotiations

British Prime Minister Theresa May has accused one of her predecessors, Tony Blair, of “undermining” the Brexit negotiations by calling for a second referendum.

"For Tony Blair to go to Brussels and seek to undermine our negotiations by advocating for a second referendum is an insult to the office he once held and the people he once served,” she said, in comments widely reported by British media.

"We cannot, as he would, abdicate responsibility for this decision. Parliament has a democratic duty to deliver what the British people voted for.”

Ex-UK prime minister Blair told Euronews on Friday that he had been lobbying European leaders to prepare for a second vote.

READ MORE: EU chiefs should prepare for second Brexit referendum, ex-UK PM Tony Blair tells Euronews

"I need to get the European leaders to the next stage, which is to realise the probability is it [a second referendum] is going to happen and they have got to prepare for it,” he said.

"One important component of any such re-fought referendum will be whether Europe is prepared to meet what are not just British concerns around immigration but Europe-wide concerns.”

The government is opposed to any further referendum, saying the public already made a clear choice on the matter in 2016.

MPs were due to vote on Tuesday on May’s Brexit deal, but it was postponed, with the prime minister admitting that it would have been "rejected by a significant margin".

READ MORE: What is in Theresa May’s Brexit deal and why is it so unpopular?

May then travelled to Brussels, seeking "legal and political assurances" over the Irish backstop to try to win over MPs at home.

However, EU leaders said the deal was not open for re-negotiation.

The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29.

You can watch Euronews' interview with Blair by clicking on the player above.