Fri, 18 June 2021

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By Georgina Bailey, Eleanor Langford and Kate Proctor
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Tony Blair: EU would compromise on free movement of people

Tony Blair: EU would compromise on free movement of people
1 min read

Tony Blair has said European Union leaders are willing to be flexible on freedom of movement of people to stop Britain leaving the bloc.

Writing for his own institute, the former Labour leader said European leaders had told him they could “compromise on freedom of movement”.

Last week the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said that that the freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital were “indivisible”.

But Mr Blair said: “Rational consideration of the options would sensibly include the option of negotiating for Britain to stay within a Europe itself prepared to reform and meet us half way.

“Reform is now on Europe's agenda. The European leaders, certainly from my discussions, are willing to consider changes to accommodate Britain, including around freedom of movement.”

Preparing to leave the single market was a “damaging position”, Mr Blair added, and he urged the Labour party to champion a “radically distinct” position on Europe.

“So when people blithely say, ‘We will get roughly the same terms as we do now with the single market,’ I literally know no-one in the European system who believes this,” he wrote.

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