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Blair: EU open to compromise on freedom of movement post-Brexit

Europe
15.07.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
London (dpa) - EU leaders are willing to compromise on their position in Brexit negotiations that Britain must accept freedom of movement to keep trade benefits similar to those offered by the EU single market, former British prime minister Tony Blair said Saturday.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Blair declined to give details of any discussions he had held with EU officials on Brexit, but he insisted he was not speaking on "a whim."

Blair said he expected EU leaders to discuss reforms that could make Brexit easier for Britain to remain in an "outer circle" of influence.

"Europe itself is now looking at its own reform programme," Blair told the broadcaster. "They will have an inner circle in the EU that will be part of the eurozone and an outer circle. 

"They will make reforms that I think will make it much more comfortable for Britain to fit itself in that outer circle," he said.

In an article published via his Institute for Global Change on Saturday, Blair warned the "economic damage is potentially large" if Britain leaves the single market and customs union after Brexit, as Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to do.

"No one who has seriously examined these issues believes that a third-country FTA (free-trade agreement) is remotely a substitute for membership of the single market," he wrote.

 

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