A public row broke out on Sunday between British Prime Minister, Theresa May and former Labour party leader Tony Blair over her Brexit deal.
May accused Blair of insulting voters and trying to undermine her government with calls for a second referendum to break the political deadlock over the divorce deal she struck with the EU.
â€œFor Tony Blair to go to Brussels and seek to undermine our negotiations by advocating for a second referendum is an insult to the office he once held and the people he once served,â€ May said in a statement issued late Saturday.
â€œWe cannot, as he would, abdicate responsibility for this decision. Parliament has a democratic duty to deliver what the British people voted for.â€
Blair, who was Labour prime minister between 1997 and 2007, on Sunday accused the Conservative leader of being â€œirresponsibleâ€.
â€œThe sensible thing is now to allow parliament to vote on each of the forms of Brexit canvassed, including the prime ministerâ€™s deal,â€ he said in a statement.
â€œIf they canâ€™t reach agreement then the logical thing is to go back to the people.â€
He added: â€œWhat is irresponsible however is to try to steamroller MPs into accepting a deal they genuinely think is a bad one with the threat that if they do not fall into line, the government will have the country crash out (of the EU) without a deal.â€
Blair opposes Brexit and, as Mayâ€™s deal faces opposition on all sides of the House of Commons, he has stepped up calls for the public to vote again.
His latest speech on the issue came on Friday, as May was meeting EU leaders in Brussels to discuss how to save
May has repeatedly ruled out holding a new referendum, saying the result in 2016 was clear.
But growing numbers of MPs believe a â€œpeopleâ€™s voteâ€ is the only way to break an impasse that risks Britain leaving the EU on March 29 without any agreement at all.
Mayâ€™s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, was on Sunday forced to deny reports that he was planning for such an outcome.
The same reports also said Mayâ€™s effective deputy, David Lidington, was in talks with opposition Labour MPs about a new vote.
Lidington replied that he always listened to MPsâ€™ views but pointed to recent remarks in parliament where he said a second referendum may not be decisive and could damage confidence in democracy.