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Tony Blair

This will require us to be careful in framing the argument for change in Europe in a way that builds alliances for the good of Europe as a whole, including the UK, not in a way that satisfies simply a narrow-gauge dispute between the UK and the rest of Europe. He also warned that an exit from "the principal stage of the world" would leave "the play and the actors to continue without the UK". Directing his attack on Ukip, he said the answer to the white working class in Britain threatened in the labour market by Polish immigrants was not to shut down the labour market, but to give them skills.

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Anxieties about migration were best addressed through clear rules and order, such as identity cards, not by feeding prejudice, he said. Blair said the coming EU debate was about "more than about the repatriation of certain competences and rules. It has to be a debate elevated to a Europe-wide level, with Britain playing a leading role in the reform of Europe, not just a negotiation of Britain's terms of membership.

UK: BLACKPOOL: LABOUR PARTY ANNUAL CONFERENCE: TONY BLAIR SPEECH

It has to be about what is good for Europe as well as what is good for Britain. He said last month's election results across Europe were a wake-up call to Europe and to Britain. He said the results in France and the UK "cannot be ignored. They point to a deep anxiety, distrust and alienation from the institutions and core philosophy of the Europe. Those who said the result showed overall "a pro-European majority were being dangerous and complacent".

Whatever the correct interpretation of last week's vote, it was not a vote for the status quo. He said the pace of change had upset electorates, and voters now had seen in plain view the way in which membership of the euro could determine the future of nations' spending plans and policy.

But even those of us outside the eurozone have been deeply impacted by what is happening inside it, and have seen a set of European institutions at once more visible and more under siege. He added there was a feeling that "Europe does too much of what it need not do, and too little of what it must do, and you have the perfect confluence of dissatisfaction that seems to define Europe today".

Tony Blair's Role | Institute for Global Change

Yet he argued the broad rationale for Europe was stronger than ever, but there was "a disjunction between the governing vision of Europe and its operating reality". In making his chief call for reform, he said "the governing zeitgeist of Europe since its inception has tended to move with the federalist notion that integration must mean pushing more and more power into the commission and the parliament, and away from the council. Yet the "people of Europe have not lost their sense that the primary politics of their country is national and not supra-national.

They do not particularly identify with Brussels. Any European polity is tenuous or at least limited.

Tony Blair

One of his biggest achievements came in when the Northern Irish peace process really made progress with the Good Friday Agreement. Limited military involvement in Sierra Leone in reinforced the democratically elected government. He also intended to call a referendum over Britain adopting the Euro, but events prevented this. He allied with the USA and President Bush over the need to confront militant Islamism, first in Afghanistan in and then, much more controversially, in with the invasion of Iraq.

The case for war in the UK had been built around the widespread belief that Saddam harboured weapons of mass destruction WMD , which were not subsequently found.

Leadership

Despite this, he led Labour to a third general election victory in , with a much smaller but still significant majority of In , the Israel-Lebanon war saw a very large Labour rebellion against Tony Blair over his reluctance to criticise Israel and his continued support for Bush. He resigned as Prime Minister on 27 June To help us improve GOV.


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UK uses cookies to make the site simpler. Accept cookies. Cookie settings. Born 6 May , Edinburgh, Scotland Dates in office to Political party Labour Major acts Civil Partnership Act allowed legal recognition of civil partnership relationship between two people of the same sex.