Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivers a keynote speech at a pro-Europe event in London, Britain, February 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a battle cry against a so-called hard Brexit Friday, calling on voters, businesses and campaigners to "rise up" and back a coordinated effort to temper the terms of, or even halt, Britain's EU exit.In his first major political intervention since Britons voted 52 to 48 percent to leave the European Union last June, Blair said Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May was pursuing "Brexit at any cost," and must be challenged.May has vowed to start the legal process of leaving the European Union next month, and it is not clear whether the process could then be reversed.Blair, who won three elections at the head of the Labour Party, has also spoken out in the last 18 months to warn Labour members against electing the hard leftist Jeremy Corbyn as their leader, and to urge voters to shun Brexit. Blair accused May and other ministers who had backed "Remain" in the referendum campaign of pledging to take Britain out of the single market for purely political reasons.
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