Blair: Still a chance to stop Brexit

Marsha Scott
July 17, 2017

The Labour former premier said he had been forced to re-evaluate his view that elections could only be won from the centre ground in the wake of the party's advance on June 8.

"I'm not going to disclose conversations I've had within Europe, but I'm not saying this literally on the basis of a whim", he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

"They're the sort of things Cameron tried to negotiate and got a bit of and others he didn't get anywhere on, you're saying there's dialogue we could have?"

Thus far, there has not been any short-term regulatory impact of the vote to leave the European Union and the immediate outflow of capital from United Kingdom managed funds in the aftermath of the referendum proved to be short lived. "They do think Brexit means Brexit and, for now, there is no groundswell for a second referendum". That three years after that, after a transition created to bolster business confidence and underpin economic stability, we will finally slide free of the Brussels mothership and resume life as an independent and sovereign trading nation.

A quarterly European Union summit in mid-October could see leaders tell Barnier to prepare trade negotiations; but that will require good progress this week and in three further rounds of talks. A majority oppose hard Brexit.

The former PM said he had changed his mind about Labour's election prospects following the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump. "That is a matter for her and her government".

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He added: "I think public opinion is moving on it. Look, this time previous year we were the fastest growing economy in the G7, we're now the slowest".

I favour a three-year transition, starting in March 2019, in which we join the European Free Trade Association and become temporary members of the European Economic Area like Norway. Although he is not directly negotiating with Britain, as the Parliament's point man, Mr Verhofstadt can offer extensive scrutiny on any proposals that Britain makes. The right way involves being very clear about the destination.

PA Wire/PA Images strong Tony Blair claims the Tories lost their majority in the election because large numbers of people voted to deny Theresa May the mandate for a so-called "hard" Brexit.

Her Brexit minister, veteran anti-EU campaigner David Davis, will meet Barnier, a French former cabinet minister, at the European Commission's Berlaymont headquarters at 9:15 a.m. (0715 GMT) on Monday for a brief public handshake before formal business begins.

"These are crucial negotiations for our country", Mr Corbyn said.

He added: "In contrast to the Conservatives' megaphone diplomacy, we will conduct relations with our European neighbours respectfully and in the spirit of friendship".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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