Blair hints he will leave after trade deal in July

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Indy Politics

Tony Blair hinted he would retire in July when he said yesterday that he expected a deal on world trade to be completed while he was still Prime Minister.

Ministers from 30 countries agreed to reopen trade talks during the weekend summit in Davos, Switzerland. They will be working to a July deadline because George Bush's authority tofast-track approval will run out then, opening the risk that it will be blocked by Congress.

Mr Blair appeared confident that an international deal would be part of the legacy he leaves behind when he retires.

He told the BBC's Politics Show that he believed a deal would be clinched before he left office because "it has got to happen in the next few months".

But he also said that he is staying in office for at least another two months and would lead Labour's election campaign for council elections and elections to the Scottish and Welsh assemblies coming up on 3 May.

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