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Blair's analysis of Brexit won't win round many voters but he's entitled to make his case

Tony Blair will have known that his intervention in the Brexit debate would be met with derision in some quarters.

Making a speech urging people to “rise up” and revolt to overturn the vote to leave the EU was never going to be received with universal acclamation.

Having said that, the fact that his clarion call received so much attention was a potent reminder that he remains an influential political figure - albeit a divisive one.

He likened the Brexit vote to a bad house swap and took a sideswipe at his own party in the process.

But his key message was that leaving the EU was not a done deal - and in some ways, it is not but maybe not in the way he contends.

The notion that eight months on from the referendum, voters are tortured by the decision to leave the EU and want a re-run is fanciful to say the least. That train has left the station and it was illogical to argue that the people’s will must be respected but everything should be done to overturn it.

Now, there has been speculation that behind this was another agenda - namely contriving a route back into politics.

I don’t think it is - at least not so far as Westminster politics are concerned. The idea that he is preparing the ground to become an MP is groundless - as a former PM, he will know the drudgery of being a backbencher - but there remain many who consider him to have been the most successful PM the party has had.

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage denounced him as yesterday’s man and likened him to an ageing boxer on the comeback trail who steps into the ring only to be knocked out in the first round.

Nevertheless, Blair’s decision to speak out so fervently indicates that he has a taste for the political ring - at least on causes he believes in.

The question perhaps is whether he will go the full distance.

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