In an article published Saturday by Blair’s Institute for Global Change, he wrote that EU leaders might be willing to “reform and meet us half way” to keep the UK in the bloc.
He insisted that European Union leaders would accept tightening up immigration rules to accomodate Britain, so the option of the UK staying in the bloc should remain open.
More than a decade of mass immigration from the EU under freedom of movement rules was a major factor in the referendum that saw Britons vote to leave the EU.
David Cameron as prime minister sought reform but got little out of his fellow EU leaders. However, Blair said the election of French President Emmanuel Macron had changed EU dynamics.
“The European leaders, certainly from my discussions, are willing to consider changes to accommodate Britain, including around freedom of movement,” he wrote. “Yet this option is excluded.”
Talking to Sky News, Blair said that “every day is bringing us fresh evidence” of Brexit’s harm to Britain, with economic growth slowing and the value of the pound down sharply since the June 2016 EU membership referendum.
Blair left office in 2007, and his interventions in British politics are always contentious. He won three successive elections for the Labour Party, but many have not forgiven him for joining the Iraq War.