Blair on Brexit

Tony Blair is back! And he’s called on the British people to rise up to prevent Brexit. Should anybody listen to him?


Blair is back. The former Prime Minister has returned to the spotlight to call for Brexit to be halted. Should we pay any attention?

I’m Leon Hawthorne. We’re talking about Tony Blair asking the British people to rise up and reverse the outcome of last year’s referendum.

Tony Blair says Brexit is like buying a new house. The idea might have sounded good on June 23rd, but now we’ve been to the neighbourhood, checked out the structure, looked under the floorboards, the house doesn’t look so good.

He argues we can now see Brexit means exit from the Single Market and the Custom Union; and possible trade tariffs with Europe, so we can and should change our mind.

Lots of people will dismiss Tony Blair, attack him personally for a lack of credibility. But we should take him very seriously. His speech showed why he won three general elections and captivated this nation for a decade. So, we should not under-estimate him or his message.

He is now establishing a political movement to unite all the anti Brexit forces to try to stop Brexit from happening.

No doubt his speech will give impetus to members of the House of Lords, who are yet to vote on the bill necessary to trigger Article 50, which officially launches our exit from the EU.

Blair says immigration was the single biggest reason why people voted for Brexit, but points out half the immigration comes from outside the EU, over which the government has control, but has not halted. He says only a fraction of the 300,000-plus net migration can or will be stopped by Brexit.

Whilst he say Britain can survive outside the EU, our economy will be massively damaged; so he’s trying to stop, what he terms, Brexit at any cost.

OK, it has taken the Theresa May government nine months.. and yet Article 50 notification has not been issued. The slower this process, the stronger voices like Blair’s will get. The more persuasive his arguments will sound.

The more distant the referendum, the more reasonable it is to have a second referendum.

So, Mrs May needs to get on with it. Her slow indecisive approach is a big problem. Even though the policy she eventually announced seems reasonable to me. The time it’s taken and the method of decision-making doesn’t bode well.

I don’t think we will reach agreement with the European Union. Look for a previous programme I made on that subject. So, we should actively push ahead with a unilateral “no deal” plan. It doesn’t need to take two years.

The only people who say that are lawyers and bureaucrats, who make a living wrapping us up in red tape. And politicians like Blair who want to kick this into the long grass, so they can reverse the decision.

Things take a long time, if you don’t know what you’re doing… and can’t make up your mind. If you are clear-minded and decisive, you can launch an armada to set sail to war in a weekend, as Mrs Thatcher did in 1982.

What Tony Blair does not understand or purposely ignores is it is politicians like him, who ignore the will of the people… are the very reason why Britain voted for Brexit.

Politicians who say: we know what’s best for you. You don’t understand. Let us make the decisions. This is the arrogant attitude of the European Commission bureaucrats and all the EU cronies, who do not believe in democracy.

They are the reason the alternative right and populist parties are on the rise in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain.

Ordinary people are saying if you don’t listen to us, when we vote, we will vote for the extremes.

If we listen to Blair now, that too will have a cost… namely the rise of the extreme right in Britain.

Blair’s new political movement sounds, to me, like an echo of the Council for Social Democracy that was founded in 1981. That became the breakaway Social Democratic Party, led by four ex Labour cabinet ministers.

I suspect this is the real mission here.

Blair castigated Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, albeit not by name, while he praised the former LibDem leader, Nick Clegg.

Watch this space. Watch for centrist Labour MPs, Liberal Democrats and Greens joining forces with Blair and being poised to form a new party, possibly before the next General Election.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Published by videobite2021

Journalist, broadcaster, media executive, academic, author.