Tony Blair: I’m bored that people are bored by Brexit

Former UK prime minister says outrage has been ‘numbed’ by protracted Brexit process

Tony Blair: “I may be the only person in Britain who believes it but I do believe Brexit can and should be stopped.” Photograph: Getty

Tony Blair: “I may be the only person in Britain who believes it but I do believe Brexit can and should be stopped.” Photograph: Getty

 

Bored by Brexit? Tony Blair doesn’t care.

“I am afraid I get bored with people telling me they’re bored of it,” said the former British prime minister in a speech at London think tank Chatham House. “The whole thing has become so protracted that it has numbed our outrage.”

Mr Blair said that staying in the single market for goods - a compromise being considered by the UK - would leave Britain subject to the European Court of Justice in some areas, while being “shut out of the services sector where we have a massive surplus.”

The European project would continue regardless of Britain, he argued, because member states knew they would otherwise be “sat on” by the rising powers of China and India. “I may be the only person in Britain who believes it but I do believe Brexit can and should be stopped,” he added.

Transatlantic alliance

Mr Blair also called for US and UK politicians to stand up for the transatlantic alliance. But he said that people would continue to go down “the cul-de-sac of populism”, until politicians dealt with “the underlying grievances” about how globalisation is managed. He backed the EU’s decision to place retaliatory tariffs on US goods, but said the key task was to start a dialogue on “what America really wants”. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018