Blair says European Union would level with United Kingdom on mass migration

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 16, 2017

"Rational consideration of the options would sensibly include the option of negotiating for Britain to stay within a Europe itself prepared to reform and meet us half way", he wrote in an article for his Institute for Global Change think-tank. We're now knowing a lot more about what it really means.

"Look, I think in today's world you've got to say, with the election of Donald Trump, with Brexit, the last election result - anything's possible and it's possible Labour could win from a far left position".

The former prime minister did not spend time talking to voters "in the pubs, the clubs and school gates", the Shadow Chancellor noted. "I think they thought that the likelihood was that the Tories would be the government, but were determined to neuter the mandate".

But he admitted his predictions of a disastrous result for Labour at the election had been proved "way off" by Mr Corbyn's performance, who oversaw the biggest swing to the party since 1945.

Mr Blair's article was published alongside polling which suggested 70% of Britons would support free movement if it was reformed to mean European Union citizens would not have an automatic right to move to a country without a job offer, and if there were stricter controls on welfare.

Mr Blair argued: "If a right wing populist punch in the form of Brexit was followed by a left wing populist punch in the form of unreconstructed hard left economics, Britain would hit the canvas, flat on our back and be out for a long count".

Jeremy Corbyn has told Tony Blair "politics has changed" after the ex-prime minister warned against a "left-wing populist" government.

Despite describing the 8 June vote as being held in "very unique circumstances", Mr Blair praised the Labour leadership's ability to enthuse voters.

He said the British people should be made aware of the possibility of Europe meeting the United Kingdom "half way" on a range of issues, predicting that Europe "will comprise an inner and outer circle" in the coming years.

President Macron's election as French President has changed the "political dynamics of Europe" and reform is "now on Europe's agenda", Mr Blair says.

He also suggests that he has had discussions with a number of European leaders who are "willing to consider changes to accommodate Britain, including around freedom of movement".

"I pay tribute to Jeremy Corbyn's temperament in the campaign, to the campaign's mobilization of younger voters and to the enthusiasm it generated", Blair, normally a Corbyn critic, said. "They do think Brexit means Brexit and, for now, there is no groundswell for a second referendum".

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