EU leaders willing to compromise on freedom of movement, says Tony Blair — Key concession that could prevent Brexit

Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – European Union leaders are willing to change the bloc’s rules for the freedom of movement of workers, opening an opportunity for Britain to avoid a damaging “hard Brexit”, former prime minister Tony Blair said on Saturday.

The election of French President Emmanuel Macron had put reform of the EU on the table, meaning Britain and the EU could meet “halfway” to strike a deal that would keep Britain inside the world’s largest trading area, Blair said.

“The European leaders, certainly from my discussions, are willing to consider changes to accommodate Britain, including around freedom of movement,” the former Labour prime minister said in an article published by his Institute for Global Change.

“The opposition to free movement of people, once you break it down, is much more nuanced. The French and Germans share some of the British worries, notably around immigration, and would compromise on freedom of movement.”

Blair’s comments are at odds with the EU’s negotiating stance, which stresses there can be no “cherry picking” from the benefits of membership of the EU’s single market without accepting freedom of movement for EU workers.

Blair lamented that both Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party had set their minds on leaving the single market, without exploring the alternatives.

“Given what is at stake, and what, daily, we are discovering about the costs of Brexit, how can it be right deliberately to take off the table the option of compromise between Britain and Europe so that Britain stays within a reformed Europe?” he said.

Blair was prime minister for 10 years until 2007. He wanted to take Britain into the euro zone and believed Britain should lead the way in the EU rather than withdraw from it.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Dale Hudson

************************************

EU leaders willing to give UK control over immigration to prevent Brexit, Tony Blair says

Tony Blair CREDIT: PA

EU leaders would be willing to give Britain control over freedom of movement if the UK stays in the single market, Tony Blair has revealed.

The former Labour Prime Minister said political changes on the continent, including the election of Emmanuel Macron, have made an alternative to so-called hard Brexit more likely as he called on Jeremy Corbyn to end his support for leaving the single market.

Control over immigration has been one of the key sticking points of Brexit so far, as Eu leaders have made clear that single market membership requires freedom of movement of citizens across the EU.

Tony Blair
Tony Blair CREDIT: AFP

Mr Blair said it is “possible” that the will of the British people will change, leaving the door open to the UK remaining in the union but with a much better deal – including control over freedom of movement.

Mr Blair, a strong critic of Brexit, said: “The Macron victory changes the political dynamics…

Read the rest:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/14/eu-leaders-willing-give-uk-control-immigration-prevent-brexit/

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: