Tony Blair: Chances of Labour Government ‘Negligible’

SEDGEFIELD, ENGLAND - APRIL 07: Former British Prime Minister and former Labour MP for Sedgefield, Tony Blair gives a speech to waiting party members ahead of a visit to the construction site for the new Hitachi Trains Europe factory on April 7, 2015 in Sedgefield, England. The visit came as …
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Fanatic Remainer Tony Blair has admitted there is only a “negligible” chance of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party gaining a majority in the December 12th election.

Speaking at a Reuters Newsmaker event on Monday, the former Labour prime minister said: “I think if the polls are right, there is a negligible chance of a Labour majority.”

Blair also claimed that the Labour Party had been taken over by “left-wing populism”. Later during the event, he said that “if you had a moderate centre-left leader of the Labour Party right now we wouldn’t be in this position” where Conservatives promising to deliver Brexit had a 19-point lead over a party run by a socialist.

The former Labour leader had in the past criticised Mr Corbyn for taking the party to the far-left after the progressive politician had moulded it along the lines of centrist, third-way politics in the nineties and early 2000s. The party’s direction changed course after Labour members voted for Mr Corbyn as the party’s new leader in 2015.

Mr Blair evaded answering when asked whether he thought Corbyn was a “fit and proper person to be prime minister”, saying instead: “I’m choosing my words carefully because you’re in the middle of an election campaign. My differences with Jeremy Corbyn are pretty well documented, and my views haven’t changed, let me put it like that.”

Asked what he thought would be the best outcome in the election he ruled out his party as being suitable to govern, saying: “I don’t think a majority of either side is a good thing.”

The former prime minister also attacked the Tories and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s commitment to Brexit, saying they are “peddling a fantasy” over their exit plans. He then reiterated his fear that even if Parliament backs the EU’s treaty, the UK may diverge completely after the transition period and leave without a deal on a so-called “future relationship” with the bloc.

He continued: “…the Conservative government will be obliged to go for what they say is a hard Brexit, i.e. a third country free trade agreement like Canada with divergence around tax regulation and trade. This is what ministers who are pro-Brexit are saying, and the position Boris Johnson recently praised in the United States of America.”

He then claimed that in those circumstances, negotiations with the EU would be “horrible”, as Europeans had told him there was no prospect of Brussels agreeing on a trade deal “if the position is divergence on rulemaking”.

“The Europeans are not going to allow a Brexiteer-led British government to establish a competitor with access to their market but undermining their rules,” he added.

Blair’s remarks come as France’s trade minister said the EU was in a position to work on a “unique” trade deal with the UK — provided Britain is prepared to “play fair” and sign up to specific regulatory standards. While that may be the price to pay for an EU trade deal, it may come at the expense of making free trade agreements with the rest of the world if those standards prove restrictive.


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