Brexit big beasts Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are leading the attacks against Tony Blair over the former prime minister's major pro-EU intervention in London on Friday (17 February).

The foreign secretary, a chief cheerleader of the Vote Leave campaign, urged British voters to "rise up" and turn off their TVs next time Blair appears.

"Whatever his merits as a former prime minister, this is the guy who would have taken our country into the Euro [currency], with what would have been catastrophic consequences," Johnson said.

"This is the guy who dragooned the UK into the Iraq War on a completely false prospectus, with consequences which foreign ministers here [Brussels] are still trying to deal with.

"I urge people to rise up and turn off the TV next time Blair comes on with his condescending campaign." Farage, a long-time Eurosceptic nemesis of Blair, declared that Blair is "yesterday's man".

"He's like the heavyweight world champion who needs to come back and make some money but gets knocked out first round," told Ukip's spring conference in Bolton. "At the end of the day Blair will be on the canvas."

But Blair, who wants to harness a pro-EU movement to stop the UK from leaving Europe, declared that he would not be silenced by the "volley of abuse" he expected to receive.

"You can like the messengers or not like the messenger and this is a free country so I've got a right to speak and you've got the freedom to listen or not," he said.

"I know there will be a volley of abuse that will come my way, but I'm speaking because I believe in it and I care about the country."

Blair said: "The will of the people is not some fixed immutable thing that can never change irrespective of the facts that have be bought to their attention. When people voted on 23 June, I accept entirely that they voted to get out of Europe.

"But they didn't at that point know what the alternative was. It was like a house swap: They said 'yep, we want to swap our house', but they hadn't seen the other one."

The comments come just around a month before Theresa May plans to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and trigger divorce talks with the EU in March.