Britain will rejoin EU in future, Tony Blair says

Former PM says UK’s exit is a ‘constant sadness’ to him

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Thursday 27 July 2023 18:47 BST

Related: Tony Blair accepts Brexit will not be reversed despite ‘passionately opposing’ it in 2022

Britain will rejoin the EU in the future, Tony Blair has predicted – as polls show support for rejoining climbing ever higher.

The former prime minister told the New Statesman magazine that a “future generation” would take the UK back inside the bloc and reverse Brexit.

A new survey by Deltapoll carried out between 14-17 July found 56 per cent of people would vote to rejoin the EU versus 38 per cent who would vote to stay out.

“I believe at some point a future generation will take Britain back into Europe, and, you know, you just have to look at what’s happened,” he told the magazine in a wide-ranging interview.

Sir Tony went on to describe Brexit as “a constant sadness to me”.

Labour has ditched its anti-Brexit stance under Keir Starmer, ruling out rejoining the bloc or even its single market.

Elsewhere in his interview Sir Tony warned that the only way of fighting climate change was to cooperate with China.

He said the climate was the “single biggest global challenge” but that Britain’s emissions were dwarfed by that of larger countries.

“Don’t ask us to do a huge amount when frankly whatever we do in Britain is not really going to impact climate change," he told the magazine.

Despite rows over benefit policy and Ulez in recent weeks Labour still enjoys a significant lead over the Conservatives, with most pollsters suggesting a gap of around 20 points.

At a meeting on the party's NEC Labour’s campaign director Morgan McSweeney said he had been studying “complacency” in campaigns like Neil Kinnock’s in 1992 and Hillary Clinton’s in 2016 – according to a read-out of the session by Starmer ally Luke Akehurst.

Labour’s campaign chief Shabana Mahmood meanwhile also defended controversial attack ads aimed at Rishi Sunak, telling the New Statesman: “It’s not so much a case of taking the gloves off. I’ve never had any gloves on frankly. It’s not in my nature to stand back and wait for them to throw the first punch.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in