Advertisement

UK doesn't need Brexit to curb EU immigration, says former PM Blair

UK doesn't need Brexit to curb EU immigration, says former PM Blair
From Reuters - September 10, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain could bring in tough new controls on immigration from the European Union without actually having to leave the bloc, former prime minister Tony Blair said on Sunday.

Concerns over the impact of high levels of immigration on public services and housing were cited as a factor by many who voted to leave the EU in last years referendum.

Prime Minister Theresa Mays Conservative government has said free movement of EU citizens coming to Britain must end.

Many Brexit supporters blame Blairs government, which allowed citizens of former communist states to settle immediately in Britain despite a long transition period implemented by other EU countries, for a big influx of EU migrants from 2004.

There is no diversion possible from Brexit without addressing the grievances that gave rise to it. Paradoxically, we have to respect the referendum vote to change it, Blair, who has said Brexit can and should be stopped, wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper.

We can curtail the things that people feel are damaging about European immigration, both by domestic policy change and by agreeing change within Europe to the freedom of movement principle, added Blair, who led a Labour government for a decade from 1997.

Advertisement

Continue reading at Reuters »