TONY Blair today warns Jeremy Corbyn that a snap general election would be an “elephant trap” Labour must not fall into.

In a speech at the Institute for Government think-tank in London, the former Prime Minister will brand a no-deal Brexit as a “reckless path” but will acknowledge there is a strategy behind it and those forces opposed to it must be equally strategic.

He will say: “First, the June 2016 referendum cannot be taken as a mandate for a no-deal Brexit. Feeble attempts to suggest it is have foundered on the overwhelming evidence that, on the contrary, Brexiteers continually stated there would be a deal and it would be easy.

“Second, therefore, if the Government policy is to come out with no-deal, then either Parliament should agree it or the people[should].

“Third, and this is the crux, if Parliament cannot agree, then the right way to consult the people is not through a general election but through a referendum.

“That means, as MPs from different parties have recently agreed, there should not be a motion of no-confidence but rather legislation preventing no-deal.

“Should the Government seek an election, it should be refused in favour of a referendum,” the former Labour leader will insist.

Mr Blair will admit it is counter-intuitive for opposition parties to refuse an election but, in what he describes as an “exceptional case,” it would be vital they did so as a matter of principle until Brexit is resolved.

“Brexit is an issue which stands on its own, was originally decided on its own, and should be reconsidered on its own,” he will argue.

“But the Brexiteers are laying a trap, to seem as if pushed into an election against their will, when they're actively preparing for it.”

Praising Jeremy Corbyn for having “behaved responsibly” in stepping back from seeking to become a caretaker premier, Mr Blair will add: “But he should see an election for the elephant trap it is. If the Government tries to force an election, Labour should vote against it.”

On Sunday, Sir Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, was pressed on what Labour would do if the no-confidence vote that it wanted led to a general election after Britain had left the EU.

“Well, we’ve been thinking long and hard about that because we have to have a way of ensuring that we don’t crash out during the course of an election,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

But Sir Keir declined to say what his party would do but stressed: “We are absolutely on that point...We have been working all summer on all scenarios. And we have got plans for every scenario. And I’m not going to go into them…”

The Herald understands that one option is, that if MPs are successful in pushing a Bill through Parliament to get Brexit Day pushed back, they can also seek within it to effectively amend the Fixed Term Parliaments Act to ensure any election takes place before Britain leaves the EU.