Tony Blair has said he believes the chance of blocking Brexit has almost doubled so far this year, as Prime Minister Theresa May falters in delivering her promise of a clean break with the European Union (EU).
He also attacked populism, but said politicians had failed to deal with immigration and that U.S. President Donald J. Trump is seen as “get[ing] things done”.
“At the beginning of the year, I thought we were at 25 percent [chance of stopping Brexit], but now I think it is about 40 percent,” said the former Prime Minister turned pro-Brussels activist and campaigner.
Speaking to German magazine Stern, he attacked Brexit, claiming it will lead to a climate of unhealthy competition between Britain and Europe, adding:
“People obviously believed we will be freer and more self-determined [outside of the EU], but the opposite is the case, we will not be freer.”
CLAIM: Pro-EU Tory Ministers Met Soros-Funded Anti-Brexit Group https://t.co/u2u5j5lqza
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 13, 2018
In the interview, he also criticised the rise of populism in Europe but acknowledged politicians need to be more attuned to the driving issues of mass migration, cultural change, and crime.
He mentioned the recent elections in Italy specifically, adding: “If we can not do that, we’ll fail, so the political centre is threatened – from left to right.”
What he called the “growing appeal of the authoritarian leadership-style” was also a problem, he claimed.
Adding: “Donald Trump’s success has certainly something to do with the fact he addressed citizens who felt marginalised.
“But, that does not explain everything. The other explanation is that he says, ‘I get things done, I’ll tackle them.’ This is how he does it, even if we disagree with him.”
The former British Prime Minister continued: “In these times, secessionist movements like here or in Spain are simply crazy.
“[The G7 Summit] showed how important it is for Europe to remain united and strong. Brexit does the opposite, and I understand the U.S. viewpoint, but it follows that Europe must just as effectively defend its own interests.”
Tony Blair at Davos: Brits Will Reject Brexit Because UK ‘Needs’ EU Migrants https://t.co/5iQEwu80uH
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 24, 2018