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Tony Blair Warns No Deal Brexit Would Be 'Very Dangerous' for Northern Ireland

© REUTERS / Clodagh KilcoyneThe scene of a suspected car bomb is seen in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 20 January , 2019
The scene of a suspected car bomb is seen in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 20 January , 2019 - Sputnik International
In early November 2018, former British PM Tony Blair called for a second referendum on Brexit, urging the country's parliament to turn down any divorce agreement between London and Brussels and let UK citizens decide as each option would have negative consequences.

In an interview with Sky News on Sunday, former British PM Tony Blair warned of far-reaching consequences of the UK possibly leaving the EU without a deal.

"No one could responsibly propose this [a no-deal Brexit]. It would be economically very, very dangerous for Britain and for the peace process in Northern Ireland, it would potentially be devastating," Blair claimed.

READ MORE: Journo: 'A No Deal Brexit Would Not Be as Bad as Many People Say It Would Be'

He underlined that a possible no deal Brexit will mean a "really hard border between the north and south of Ireland, contrary to the Good Friday Agreement".

Additionally, it would "cause an enormous fissure within the United Kingdom", according to Blair.

On the Northern Ireland peace process, he pointed the finger at local politicians who have been "playing fast and loose with it from the beginning".

Blair also warned that the country needs to decide whether it wanted a soft or hard departure from the EU because otherwise, "we're going to leave without clarity".

READ MORE: 27 EU States Agree to Keep Visa-Free Regime With UK in Case of No Deal Brexit

The UK's exit from the bloc may lead to a return of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in potential violation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which specifically stipulates that no physical border should exist between the two sides.

In early February, UK Prime Minister Theresa May pledged in an article published by The Telegraph that she would return to negotiations with Brussels to "battle for Britain and Northern Ireland".

She stressed that she will be "armed with a fresh mandate and new ideas […] to agree a pragmatic solution that delivers the Brexit the British people voted for, while ensuring there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland".

May is due to report back to parliament on her negotiations with the EU on 13 February, a few weeks after she secured MPs' support to go back to Brussels.

READ MORE: MEPs Reported to Call for Softer Aviation Terms Even If There's No Brexit Deal

A picture shows the Parliament Buildings, the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly, on the Stormont Estate in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 4, 2017 - Sputnik International
Theresa May Rules Out NI Hard Border Between Ireland or Great Britain
The goal is to hammer out a new deal that doesn't include an Irish border backstop, the mechanism to ensure that there will be no hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland if the sides failed to agree on all the terms of their relationship by the end of the Brexit transition period.

On Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, for his part, described the current Brexit agreement as "the best and only possible deal" which he said would "not be renegotiated".

He added that a "hard" Brexit from the EU was more likely if the UK government failed to ratify conditions of the current accord.

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