Tony Blair has warned David Cameron’s promise of an EU referendum is an “unacceptable gamble” with Britain’s future.
The former Labour prime minister also told Sky News the current party leader Ed Miliband had his “100%” support, and said he had showed “real leadership” in resisting calls to back an in/out vote.
Speaking in his former constituency of Sedgefield, Mr Blair claimed the PM did not believe the UK should quit Europe, but had committed to a referendum in 2017 as a “sop” to the right wing of his party and UKIP.
But he warned the vote would be a “huge distraction”, risking economic chaos and threatening the UK’s national interest.
It would also put EU “exit” on the agenda for the first time.