If the EU referendum was held tomorrow, the margin by which Leave won would be “at least three times bigger,” Nigel Farage has claimed.
The former Ukip leader used his platform at the party’s spring conference to attack Tony Blair. The thrice-elected Labour Prime Minister had earlier that day urged pro-Europeans to campaign for the right of people to change their minds about Brexit.
Farage told Ukip members that it was “remarkable” that Tony Blair has spoken out against Brexit in the press.
“He seems to think we’re going to change our minds.
“He clearly hasn’t grasped that if that referendum was held tomorrow, the margin would be at least three times bigger than it was after June 23.”
He went further in his takedown of Blair, adding: “Blair is yesterday’s man, he’s like the heavyweight world champion who has been retired for a few years but he needs a bout to make some money and he comes back and gets knocked out in the first round.”
Party members booed when Blair’s name was mentioned, and applauded Farage’s speech.
Blair, a committed European, has subjected Farage to withering putdowns in the past. In 2005, speaking at the European Parliament, he told Farage: “You sit there with our country’s flag. You do not represent our country’s interests. This is the year 2005, not 1945.”
In his intervention in the Brexit negotiations, he said people voted “without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit”, and had a right to change their minds.
Meanwhile at the conference, Ukip’s Brexit spokesman Gerard Batten declared “Brexit means exit” and claimed that Britain hadn’t had a patriotic government since the end of World War II “as far as Europe is concerned”.
Batten called for Britain to repeal the European Communities Act 1972, and “forget Article 50″.
He chimed in with Farage’s attack on Blair, demanding: “Why can’t Tony Blair leave us in peace and go and live in America on his blood money?”