Bad Deal Confirmed? Tony Blair Backs BoJo’s Brexit

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Arch-Remainer Tony Blair has said he would have voted for Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal if he was still in Parliament, causing some Brexiteers to question whether it is the fantastic victory the Tory leader has claimed.

“I would have backed the leader on this,” the Iraq War architect said, referring to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to vote in favour of Johnson’s deal, in an interview with  Times Radio highlighted by the left-wing Guardian.

“I mean, look, it’s a tactical question for the Labour party,” Blair explained, displaying what critics of the former premier might describe as a characteristic lack of principle.

“[B]ecause the problem is… it’s open to your opponents to say that if you don’t back the deal, then you’re voting for no deal,” he said.

Such has indeed been the case for Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland’s devolved government — roughly equivalent to a state government in the United States — and leader of the left-separatist Scottish National Party (SNP).

SNP MPs voted against Johnson’s deal in Parliament, citing the decision to effectively sell out the country’s hard-pressed fishermen for at least another five-and-a-half years by agreeing to a “transition” which will see the European Union continue to take much of the “quota” for fishing catches in British waters, and to cave in to the EU on some other issues, such as allowing them to ban seed potato exports — an industry concentrated in Scotland and the North of England.

This has seen Tory MPs snipe at the First Minister as “No Deal Nicola” — an awkward position for the Scottish leftist as, despite her party’s notional support for national independence, the SNP is staunchly loyal to the EU and would like to take an “independent” Scotland back into its embrace.

This position does render the SNP’s claims that not enough control has been taken back on fishing somewhat hypocritical, given EU control over fisheries is a requirement of EU membership.

“I don’t think it particularly matters to the Labour party either way,” Blair added cynically.

“I think what does matter is that we’re still in a position where we’re pointing out what the problems with this deal are.”

The 67-year-old former Trotskyist has been a controversial figure throughout the post-referendum period, having worked both publicly and privately to attempt to overturn or at least re-run the Brexit vote, and reportedly held secret talks with the European Commission and billionaire plutocrat George Soros, who helped to bankroll anti-Brexit groups, at the Davos summit in Switzerland.

Perhaps his most contentious activity during the period between the vote to Leave the EU in 2016 and Britain actually leaving the EU years later in 2020 involved his decision to advise the French president, Emmanuel Macron, on how best to pressure his own country during the Brexit deal negotiations, apparently believing that if the EU treated Britain in a rigid, punitive fashion it might throw in the towel and decide not to leave — or leave in name only — after all.

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