Our nation is in peril: Tony Blair calls for “serious statesmanship” in handling Brexit talks
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called for “serious statesmanship” in negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Blair on Thursday wrote in the Telegraph that a Eurosceptic “Brexit Minister” would be the wrong choice to conduct talks with the EU.
Blair wrote in the article, “There is going to be a negotiation of extraordinary complexity where there are a thousand devils in every detail… This needs serious statesmanship.”
Blair questioned if it was “really sensible” to put a pro-Leave minister in charge of Brexit — Britian’s exit from EU — negotiations.
Instead, he wrote, the lead negotiator must have a “high level sense… of the things that might be compromised, the things that are red lines”.
“The psychology of the other 27 countries is crucial to feel and shape,” he added.
Blair condemned Nigel Farage’s mocking outburst in the European Parliament earlier this week, warning the government not to “underestimate the damage” that will have caused.
He also argued that the narrowness of the vote had left 48 per cent “completely disenfranchised” and “alienated”.
Blair said in the daily that “Britain should keep all our options open” and insisted that it “is not an argument for another referendum”.
“Actually the people do have a right to change their mind, but that is not for now,” he added.
He concluded in what will be seen as a further offer to help: “Our nation is in peril. To allow us to come safely through this we need to be adult in our politics, to proceed with calm, maturity and without bitterness; because our future as a nation in the world and as Britain itself is at stake.”