Ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair predicts a stalemate on Brexit

  • Tony Blair thinks there could be a second referendum on whether the U.K. should leave the European Union
  • “I don’t think there is any Brexit proposition that can command a majority in the House of Commons," he says.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told CNBC on Wednesday that he expects a stalemate on Brexit.

Instead, he thinks there could be a second referendum on whether the U.K. should leave the European Union – and he believes it is more likely now than it was a few months ago.

“I don’t think there is any Brexit proposition that can command a majority in the House of Commons. So I think there will at a certain point, or may well be, stalemate,” Blair said on “Closing Bell.”

“If there is stalemate, then I think in the end the only way that you can resolve this is not to rerun the last referendum but in a sense go back to the British people and say 'do you want to go forward on this basis or would you want to stay,'” he added.

Blair said that Europe is also looking at the reforms and changes it needs to make, which may also impact sentiment in the U.K. over Brexit.

“Immigration was a big driver of this Brexit referendum in the U.K.,” he said. “Europe itself knows it’s got to deal with its immigration issue. The Italian election tells you that. The recent elections in Austria, all over Europe, this is a big question.”

It has been just over two years since the U.K. voted to leave the EU. With the departure date scheduled for March 29, 2019, negotiators have about six months to conclude talks.

However, there has been recent turmoil over Prime Minister Theresa May’s strategy.

Earlier this month, three of May’s Cabinet ministers resigned over Downing Street’s approach to Brexit. May has said she wants to try to keep the closest possible trade links with the EU after the U.K. leaves the bloc.

President Donald Trump also stirred up controversy when he told The Sun newspaper two week ago that May had ignored his advice on Brexit. He also said recently departed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson would “make a great prime minister."

The president later walked back those comments in a meeting with May, saying, “Whatever you do is OK with us, just make sure we can trade together.”