Former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has said that Britain’s exit from the EU can be stopped if Britons were to change their minds.

In an interview with the New Statesman, Tony Blair stressed he was not predicting that Britain would put a stop to its exit from the EU, but that that is a possibility. “It can be stopped if the British people decide that, having seen what it means, the pain-gain, cost-benefit analysis doesn’t stack up,” he said.

The decision to do an about turn on Brexit would depend very much on how negotiations proceeded over the UK’s access to the EU’s single market, according to Blair.

“Either you get maximum access to the single market, in which case you’ll end up accepting a significant number of the rules on immigration, on payment into the budget, on the European court’s jurisdiction. People may then say, ‘Well, hang on, why are we leaving then?’

“Or alternatively, you’ll be out of the single market and the economic pain may be very great because, beyond doubt, if you do that you’ll have years, maybe a decade, of economic restructuring.”

In the interview, Tony Blair, 63, who has now wound down most of his business interests, spoke about his return to UK politics. He stressed that he had no intention to return to front-line politics because “there’s just too much hostility” but that it was his objective to “create the space for a political debate about where modern western democracies go and where the progressive forces particularly find their place”. He is now seeking to revive what he calls the “progressive centre or centre left”.