Tony Blair criticises Brexit asking: 'Where is the quick and easy trade deal with the US?'

Tony Blair criticises Brexit asking: 'Where is the quick and easy trade deal with the US?'
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Ben Gibbons

By Ben Gibbons

Published: 29/06/2022

- 13:24

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:54

The former Prime Minister revealed his views on Brexit, its execution so far, and what the future may hold

Tony Blair has outlined his own view on Brexit, its execution and the path forward.

Sir Tony was speaking on the “The Rest is Politics” podcast hosted by former Director for Communications and Strategy Alastair Campbell and former cabinet minister Rory Stewart.

The former Prime Minister campaigned fervently against the move to leave the European Union, and was an important supporter of the plan to have a second referendum.

Sir Tony, on the podcast, stated that “You can’t reverse the decision, it’s done, for this generation its a settled argument.”

However, he did find much to criticise about the government’s handling of the withdrawal, highlighting that “We were told we would have a quick and easy trade deal with the US.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie Blair leave after attending the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London, Britain, June 3, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool
Tony Blair and Cherie Blair

“We don’t even have the outlines of one now.”

Sir Tony also condemned the Northern Ireland deal, saying: “We were told this Northern Ireland deal… was an excellent deal that solved the problem.

A car drives past a Brexit poster, in Ravensdale, Northern Ireland June 21, 2022. Picture taken June 21, 2022. Under the Post-Brexit Northern Ireland protocol, continued access to the European Union's single market at the expense of the rest of the United Kingdom is proving beneficial for the region's exporters in tougher economic times. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
A Brexit poster in Ireland

“What we now know is that not merely is it not an excellent deal but at the time they knew perfectly well it wasn’t”.

The former Prime Minister also derided those who had denied that a drop in GDP was likely as a result of Brexit.

He stated “We were told it was project fear, that you were going to have a drop in GDP, I mean, the figures are all there”.

When asked about what he would do if he was implementing Brexit presently, Sir Tony highlighted three key areas.

“You’ve got to fix the Northern Ireland Protocol… You’ve got to fix the trade relationship… You need to build pillars of cooperation”.

Sir Tony and Alastair Campbell agreed that the government was not pursuing any of these goals effectively.

During his premiership, Tony Blair kept the country out of the Eurozone, and kept the sterling as national currency.

However he did declare his support for Europe as a political community in his third term, and considered holding a referendum on the ratification of the EU constitution in 2004.

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