As the UK triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begins the process of exiting the European Union, infamous New Labour heavyweight Peter Mandelson has urged diehard Remain campaigners to “Resist, Renew and Reorganise”.
Writing in the New Statesman, the 63-year-old claimed a Brexit deal which takes Britain out of the Single Market in order to control immigration “reflects the views of vocal and influential hardliners, not the majority of the public”.
He called for “a national, pro-European effort … to unite opinion in civic society and mainstream politics” against Brexit.
“We have vocally to oppose what we don’t agree with … That is why pro-refugee, anti-Trump demos, the Gina Miller case, new newspapers or campaigns against hard Brexit are so important,” he said.
Mandelson believes that on issues such as “globalisation, identity [and] migration” establishment “Tory, Labour, Lib Dem, SNP and Green MPs and activists” share a great deal of common ground, and that “new networks” would have to be created to help them co-ordinate.
Finally, he urged the recruitment of “a new generation of leaders” from the world beyond traditional politics. Presently, the key figure in the so-called Remain Resistance is Mandelson’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is hampered by his baggage as one of the chief architects of the Iraq War.
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) February 23, 2017
Mandelson, a former member of the Young Communist League who once served as a Labour councillor under Ted Knight – whose infamous slogan was “No compromise with the electorate!” – was a hugely powerful figure within the Tony Blair administration, revelling in his ‘Prince of Darkness’ nickname.
Even after being forced to resign from government by personal scandals on two separate occasions, he remained influential, receiving a well-remunerated position on the European Commission before being made a lord and returning to high domestic office under Gordon Brown.
He was a fierce partisan for European integration whilst at the height of his power, and pushed hard for Britain to sign up to the German-dominated euro currency.
“Staying out of the Euro would prove a disaster,” he said in 2003. “The price we would pay in lost investment and trade and jobs would be incalculable.”
— GoodnightVienna (@CallingEngland) March 15, 2016