Blair Held Meetings with EU Chief Negotiator About Delaying Brexit

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Former prime minister Tony Blair held a private meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier a month before Britain was supposed to leave the bloc in March, urging a Brexit delay.

According to minutes obtained by the Telegraph, the Iraq War architect said the extra delay would “provide the time required” for the British-EU to be clarified — which, given he was championing calls to re-run the 2016 referendum and overturn the people’s vote for Brexit at the time, could be reasonably interpreted as an assurance that Brexit could be either stopped or watered down by Remainers if Brussels could give them more time to work.

“Mr Blair thought that an extension of Article 50 period would provide the time required for clarifying the type of future relationship the UK wants with the EU,” recount the minutes of the meeting, which took place at the Munich Security Conference in Angela Merkel’s Germany.

“Mr Blair also expressed increasing anxiety in the UK about the economic damages of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.”

High-profile British Remainers including Blair, former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, arch-Remainer Ken Clarke, and others have held a number of meetings with the EU negotiating team and EU leaders since the 2016 referendum.

Blair is also alleged to have taken part in a meeting with the European Commission and billionaire plutocrat George Soros, who has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to anti-Brexit campaigners, at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year.

The EU is said to have recorded under the heading “Soros and Blair: discussions with the two earliest backers of a ‘People’s Vote [Second Referendum]”, but heavily redacted it.

A spokesman for Blair insisted that the 66-year-old multi-millionaire had “said the same thing publicly and privately: that we should not leave without a deal and without the future relationship being clear and if an extension was necessary to secure that then there should be one. Which also became the position of the then UK Government.”

The spokesman added that the former prime minister “has always made clear his view that the only sensible way to break deadlock in Parliament is through going back to the people in a referendum.”

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