Tony Blair

Tony Blair Quotes On Brexit: ‘We Cannot Go On Like This’

On Brexit, UK former Prime Minister Tony Blair declares:

We cannot go on like this. I have never been more worried about the future of our country than now, with competing emotions of anxiety and rage.

We have a government whose every move is a calculation not about the interests of the nation, but the internal balance of advantage between the factions of the Conservative party, with the prime minister more a hostage than a leader.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Labour Party neglects to lead the fight here at home over an issue which literally determines the future of Britain and where he could play a decisive role.

Parliament must assert itself because neither government nor opposition can or will.

Then the people must make the final decision, because only they have the right to decide what version of Brexit they want or whether in the light of all they now know they prefer to remain.

Crashing out with no agreement would deal Britain a devastating blow, he will say. We should plan now for the possibility we need to extend the March 2019 deadline.

Presently, we are drifting towards March 2019 with no clear negotiating position, no resolution of the Northern Ireland question, still vaguely hoping Europe will allow us access to the single market without abiding by its rules, which it will never do.

And with senior cabinet members openly debating the merits of a negotiating position which ‘threatens’ Europe with a no deal Brexit.

This is the equivalent of holding a negotiation on the top floor of a high rise building and ‘threatening’ to jump out of the window if our demands are not met.

The whole thing has become so protracted that it has numbed our outrage.

I am afraid I get bored with people telling me they’re bored of Brexit.

If it is by consensus the most important decision we have taken as a country since World War Two, then our preoccupation with it must continue until one way or another it is finally decided.

At a stroke, Britain loses its position in the world’s largest commercial market and biggest political union. America loses its foremost ally which has often been a bridge between the two sides of the alliance.

Of course, the Brexiteers will argue that Britain can still be the USA’s greatest ally outside the EU. But examine the reality. Since Brexit, is Britain closer to the USA? Is the relationship stronger?

On a global issue, who is the American President calling first on the continent of Europe – the British Prime Minister?

The populist wave upending Western politics shows no sign of abating. Italy proves that.

It is difficult to predict whether we are at the crest of the wave which will soon subside or whether it is still building its momentum. But I fear it is the latter.

Once it is clear the populism isn’t working because, ultimately, it offers only expressions of anger and not effective answers, the populists may double down, alleging that failure is the result of half-heartedness and that only more of the same will work.

Who knows where the dynamic of that scenario takes us. Then the comparisons with the 1930s no longer seem far-fetched.

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