Tony Blair has been branded “arrogant, undemocratic and deeply out of touch”  ahead of a speech in which he  will tell pro-EU Britons it is their “mission” to persuade Brexit voters to change their mind about leaving the European Union. In a speech on Friday, the former prime minister will urge Remain voters to “expose relentlessly” the Government’s drive for a “Brexit at any cost”, which will cause “real damage” to Britain and the embitterment of future generations. He will issue a rallying cry against the referendum vote which was “based on imperfect knowledge”.

Tony Blair will today deliver a call to arms for pro-Europeans, urging them to band together and block Brexit. In a major return to frontline politics, the former prime minister will urge those who support Britain’s continued EU membership to unite and fight against departure. He will insist that despite last year’s referendum result, the people have the right to change their mind on leaving once they realise the consequences. Speaking to the pro-EU Open Britain think tank, Mr Blair will hint the decision to leave could be overturned following a second referendum or a snap election. And he will suggest Parliament and the public should have the last word on the final deal Theresa May strikes with Brussels.
Tony Blair will today make a major speech accusing Theresa May’s Government of hurtling towards “Brexit at any cost” regardless of the damage it could do to British people. The former Labour Prime Minister will set his sights on what he calls Ms May’s “rush over the cliff’s edge”, as she and cabinet Eurosceptics attempt to force Brexit’s launch through Parliament at breakneck speed. Demanding the British people have a “right to change their mind”, Mr Blair will call on the 48 per cent who opposed leaving to take a stand, telling them directly: “This is not the time for retreat, indifference or despair, but the time to rise up in defence of what we believe.” As he speaks, Ms May will be preparing for tough talks with French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, whose country’s senate has published a report concluding Britain must not be better off outside the EU after Brexit.

Tony Blair will declare his mission to persuade the UK to stay in the EU today, calling for remain supporters to “rise up in defence of what we believe”. The former prime minister will make the statement at his first big speech since the EU referendum, arguing that people were misinformed when they voted for Brexit. “The people voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit. As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind,” he is expected to say. “Our mission is to persuade them to do so.” His intervention is likely to be highly controversial at a time when Theresa May has criticised those seeking to deny the “will of the people” as reflected by the EU referendum vote on 23 June 2016, and when Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has pledged not to block the triggering of Brexit.

TONY Blair will today spark accusations of trying to block Brexit when he makes a high profile speech on the issue. In a provocative intervention coinciding with Ukip’s spring conference, the controversial ex-prime minister is expected to urge pro-Europeans to unite to fight a clean break “hard” Brexit. He is also set to repeat his claim that Parliament and the public should have the last word – perhaps but not necessarily in a second referendum – on the Brexit deal which Theresa May strikes with the EU. Leave Means Leave co-chair Richard Tice said last night: “There is some irony that Tony Blair, a former prime minister who will forever be remembered for deceiving the British people, will try to resurrect his political corpse by trying to deceive the British people once again. “The EU referendum was democratic, fair and free and the British people voted for Brexit. “Tony Blair is now trying to do everything he can to halt Brexit. “Britain will thrive from the huge benefits Brexit brings by leaving the Single Market and Customs Union.

TONY Blair is making a major return to frontline politics in a bid to get people to “rise up” and stop the UK from leaving the EU. The former Prime Minister is set to deliver a speech today urging pro-European Brits to come together and force another referendum. He will apparently insist that despite the 52-48% vote margin to leave the bloc, people are allowed to change their minds. Speaking to the pro-EU think tank Open Britain, the ex-Labour leader will suggest that a second referendum or snap general election could stop the UK leaving. And he will also say that both Parliament and the public need to have the last word on any Brexit deal that Theresa May negotiates.

Sky News
Tony Blair is set to provoke a furious political row by calling on opponents of Brexit to “rise up” and persuade voters to change their mind about leaving the EU. In a rallying cry to pro-EU MPs and peers, the former PM will accuse Theresa May of pursuing Brexit “at any cost” and warn it could lead to Scottish independence. Mr Blair, who wants a second referendum and has pledged to campaign to keep the UK in the EU, will deliver his latest attack on Brexit in a powerful speech to Remain supporters. His speech will also be seen as a signal that he would like to create a new pro-Remain political party made up of Blairites, Liberal Democrats and even some pro-EU Conservatives.

Tony Blair will today urge Remain supporters across Britain to “rise up” and try to stop Brexit. In an extraordinary call to arms, the former Labour PM will say pro-Europeans have a “mission” to keep Britain inside the EU. Speaking in London with the Open Britain campaign, Mr Blair will accuse Theresa May of pursuing “Brexit at any cost” without caring about the economic damage. And he will claim most people voted for Brexit last year without fully understanding the consequences – and that it is not too late to change their minds. “The people voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit . As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind,” Mr Blair will say. “Our mission is to persuade them to do so.”

ITV News
Tony Blair will tell pro-EU Britons it is their “mission” to “rise up” and persuade Brexit voters to change their mind about leaving the European Union. In a speech later, the former prime minister will say the British people voted without the knowledge of “the true terms of Brexit” and so therefore should be given another vote. He will say that Brexit will cause “real damage” to Britain now and for future generations. In June last year the UK voted to leave the European Union after 43 years in an historic referendum. Leave won by 52% to 48%.

BBC News
Tony Blair is to announce his “mission” to persuade Britons to “rise up” and change their minds on Brexit. The former prime minister will say in a speech later that people voted in the referendum “without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit”. He will say he wants to “build support for finding a way out from the present rush over the cliff’s edge”. But former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith said Mr Blair’s comments were arrogant and utterly undemocratic.


THE EUROPEAN Union has been attacked for failing to tackle the Greek debt crisis and plunging the country into yet more financial ruin. William Dartmouth, a Ukip MEP, launched the tirade at his European counterparts as they bid to refinance debt-ravaged Greece’s loans while keeping the nation locked in the eurozone. Greece’s situation has reached boiling point after figures revealed its economy shrank another 0.4 per cent in the final quarter of last year.  The flopped economy has left Athen’s creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Commission (EC), at odds over measures to cure Greece’s devastated economy in the next stage of the country’s bailout.  Taking aim at the nation’s financiers in the European Parliament, Mr Dartmouth claimed his colleagues were heaping more misery on Greeks by keeping them trapped in the European Union’s single currency. 

Britain will be “weaker” after Brexit, the European Commission President has said, insisting the European Union is “beautiful” to many people across the world. Jean-Claude Juncker also criticised Theresa May’s bid to be a “bridge to Donald Trump”, saying: “To put it brutally, we don’t need the United Kingdom Government to organise our relations with the US.” However, Mr Juncker backed the Prime Minister by agreeing the controversy over the rights of EU citizens – and Britons in other EU countries – will be resolved quickly. The former Prime Minister of Luxembourg gave a combative interview to 
Time magazine, within days of announcing he will step down when his current term ends in 2019. At this month’s EU summit in Malta, Ms May attempted to convince other EU leaders that her coup in becoming the first world leader to meet the US President made her a link between the two continents.

BRUSSELS politicians today voted to push forward sweeping reforms including creating an EU finance minister, army and tax ministry which critics say would amount to the creation of a European superstate. A package of controversial proposals on the bloc’s future was passed by a wafer thin majority in the European Parliament earlier today amid an acrimonious debate about the future direction of the project. Eurosceptics reacted with fury and disbelief as MEPs approved three separate reports on planned reforms to how Brussels operates, the most contentious of which was drafted by Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt and squeaked through by just 14 votes.  Critics tonight said the fact that such a set of plans could be passed by MEPs demonstrated why the British people voted to leave the EU and that Theresa May needs to press ahead with Brexit. 

Marine le Pen

Investment firm Leonie Hill Capital’s proprietary artificial intelligence program has predicted that anti-mass migration Front National presidential candidate Marine Le Pen will shock the world with a stunning electoral victory. Arun Kant, chief executive and chief investment officer at Leonie Hill Capital, said the AI system, which looks through mountains of data to predict future trends, sees a victory for Ms Le Pen in the first and second round of the French presidential election this year. Kant said Le Pen will “walk over” all opponents in the first round and stun pollsters in the second, 
CNBC reports. Kant said the AI model says Le Pen, who currently leads in the polls, will score around 28 per cent of the vote in the first round easily besting her main rivals independent candidate Emmanuel Macron, who the AI predicts will get 19 to 20 per cent, and conservative Republican François Fillon who it says will poll 16.8 per cent.

Geert Wilders

The Dutch election period formally kicked off yesterday with frontrunner Geert Wilders saying that polling day could be Europe’s ‘Patriotic Spring’, a reference to the Arab Spring which saw regimes toppled across the Middle East. Wilders currently leads in the polls but will face an uphill battle for power as all other parties have already said they will not work with him. Some experts even suggest Wilders could win the biggest share of the votes, yet his rivals could form a coalition government. Win or lose, Euroscepticism is growing across Europe. The EU’s fanaticism over full integration and monetary union may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. A poll by Motivaction on Tuesday suggested more than 61 per cent of respondents see Dutch politicians as ‘elitist, unreliable and dishonest.’ We will find out on March 15th if that feeling is enough to make Wilders the new Prime Minister.

Social care

Cuts to social care budgets and the “widespread failure” of NHS services may have fuelled the biggest rise in death rates for 50 years, research by Oxford University suggests. The study said an “unprecedented” spike in mortality – with 30,000 excess deaths in 2015 – could be linked to budget reductions for councils, and a rapid deterioration in performance by health services. Researchers said increases in death rates were likely to continue, with recent levels the highest they have been for three years, without “urgent intervention” to boost funding for health and social care. But the Department of Health last night disputed the findings, accusing report authors of “personal bias” and ignoring regular fluctuations.

Nearly 16,000 hours of carer appointments are missed every week because of staff shortages, it has been revealed. Elderly people are being left in bed all day or are unable to go the toilet for hours because their carers do not turn up as promised. An ITV News investigation found that during a single week last year 15,858 hours of social care commissioned by local authorities were not delivered. 
Eighty-eight per cent of councils in England that responded to a Freedom of Information request said they did not deliver all of the social care they had promised. Four local authorities said more than 1,000 hours of commissioned social care went undelivered during the week 5 to 9 December. Reasons for missed visits included care agency staff shortages, sickness and delays, and occasions when the care receiver refused care or was away from home.

Sky News
Social care for elderly people in England is facing “complete collapse” as hundreds of thousands of them fail to receive the help they need, a report says. The study from Age UK found a huge drop in the number of people eligible for social care, and called for an “emergency injection of funds” into the system in the Government’s Budget this spring. The charity said 1.2 million people aged 65 and over do not receive the care and support they need. For many, it means they are left alone to feed, bathe or dress. This represents an 18% increase on last year and a 48% increase since 2010. And the report predicts that, with budget cuts and increased pressure on the system from an ageing population, the crisis will only worsen in coming years unless action is taken.

The Tories are accused of wilfully ignoring the devastating social care crisis that is gripping Britain with catastrophic effects. A major study by academics warns cuts to health and social care budgets were “possibly” to blame for the “unprecedented” 30,000 extra deaths in England and Wales. The 2015 figures mark the largest increase in “excess deaths” for almost 50 years. The total was largely made up of OAPs, who rely most on health and social care, the report finds. It is the first time a direct link has been drawn between cuts and a surge in deaths – and the rise could continue without “urgent intervention”, experts fear. Missed NHS targets including ambulance call-out times and A&E delays were among factors, according to the study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.


MINISTERS were warned today not to “betray” Britain’s fishermen by leaving them bound by Brussels rules after Brexit. Fears were sparked by a suggestion that EU negotiators should aim to continue the hated Common Fisheries Policy quota system even after Britain leaves the European Union. Leaked draft proposals from the European Parliament’s fisheries committee suggested Britain should not be allowed to catch any more fish than now in waters shared with foreign vessels. If Britain and the EU were to meet United Nations sustainable fishing commitments it was “difficult to see any alternative to the continued application of the CFP”, continued the MEPs’ draft. They suggested Britain’s post-Brexit freedom to sell to EU countries should be made conditional on continuing to let EU boats access UK waters.

Stoke by-election

The Lib Dems have alerted the police after messages sent to some Muslim voters in Stoke-on-Trent suggested they could go to hell if they failed to vote Labour to keep out Ukip’s Paul Nuttall. The anonymous message, distributed locally to some in the Muslim community by text and Whatsapp, called for people to vote Labour so as not to help “enemies of Islam”. It said voting for the Lib Dem candidate, Dr Zulfiqar Ali, a Muslim, could help “far-right, anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic Ukip party” take the seat, which is being contested in a byelection triggered by the resignation of Labour MP Tristram Hunt. It is not known how many people received the message, but the Lib Dems claimed it had been “distributed in large numbers” in support of the Labour candidate, Gareth Snell. 
The Lib Dems demanded an apology from Labour on Thursday in a letter to the party’s election agent, copying in the police and Stoke returning officer.


Britain’s top civil servant forced the big pharmaceutical companies into a £250 million bailout to help to plug a £500 million hole in the NHS budget. In the latest sign of panic over NHS finances, Sir Jeremy Heywood, the cabinet secretary, threatened to impose statutory price caps on drugs in an “aggressive” attempt to raise more money. The pharmaceutical industry then agreed to cover part of a shortfall in an attempt to win government goodwill in talks over medicines regulation and avoid an “acrimonious” row. Opposition MPs say that ministers must come clean on the gap in the NHS budget and explain why they were spending money that they had yet to receive.


Hundreds of thousands of train passengers face renewed misery after members of the drivers’ union Aslef rejected a deal to resolve their long-running dispute with Southern. Aslef members turned down a proposal, brokered by their union, to end industrial action over the introduction of driver-only trains by 54.1 per cent to 45.9 per cent. The decision raises the prospect of a fresh wave of strikes on the troubled franchise that have crippled services for 300,000 passengers since November. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, who are also in the dispute with Southern, are set to stage a 24-hour strike on February 22.

Morning Star
DRIVERS on Britain’s worst-performing railway sensationally rejected a deal with bosses over driver-only operation yesterday. In talks brokered by the TUC last month, negotiators for drivers’ union Aslef came to a compromise with Southern rail on the long-running dispute over guard staffing. But Aslef announced yesterday that drivers had voted to dump the deal by 54.1 per cent to 45.9 per cent. Turnout was 72.7 per cent. Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan, who had recommended acceptance, said: “We understand and support the decision arrived at democratically by our members and will now work to deliver a resolution in line with their expectations.”