Former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair has been accused of “unacceptable” behavior for his role in briefing French President Emmanuel Macron.
The former Labour prime minister believes that if the European Union stands firmly against the Brexit deal, the British Parliament will capitulate and accept a customs union. In effect, Britain would remain under Brussels’ thumb or would have to hold a second referendum to nullify Brexit.
This move has generated a considerable amount of criticism from Eurosceptic members of the British Parliament. Eurosceptic Conservative Member of Parliament Peter Bone proclaimed that it is, “totally unacceptable for a former prime minister to go around the heads of European countries and undermine the Government’s position. I’m not sure we could find another time in modern history when this has happened.”
Blair is a strong proponent of a second referendum and has told European leaders that it is now “probable” that a second referendum will occur. The former Prime Minister’s actions to derail Brexit are to be expected given his track record of governance.
After all, this is a prime minister who duped the UK into entering the disastrous Iraq War alongside the United States. Given his membership in the Labour Party – any meaningful reform of Britain’s bloated welfare state did not occur under his leadership – despite his “Third Way” branding. When it comes to developments like Brexit, which firmly reject political universalism, former political figures like Tony Blair will naturally be the first to oppose them.
At this point, the UK should leave the EU at all costs. The EU has become overwhelmingly centralized, has questionable migration policies that have generated troubling social outcomes in countries like the UK and France, and threatened basic civil liberties such as free speech.
Moreover, the UK has become less reliant on the EU for trade. In 2017, roughly 44 percent of British exports landed in EU member countries. Due to its unique geographic position in Europe, the UK can pursue other trade avenues outside of the EU’s jurisdiction.
Socialists like Tony Blair love centralized institutions like the EU, but for the average British person living outside London and Brussel’s cosmopolitan grasp, the EU is completely out of touch with their wants and desires. Frankly, the EU is a social and political experiment no longer worth partaking in.
Exiting the EU is no get rich scheme, but it does afford the UK a golden opportunity to exercise its national sovereignty and chart its own path. After all, Britain is the cradle of classical liberalism. Genuine free trade and a restoration of civil liberties like free speech could be back on the table if the British political class gets its act together.
Tony Blair can complain all he wants about Brexit, but it’s ultimately British voters who should have the final say on these matters. In sum, the UK should respect the democratic will of its voters and abandon the false idol that is the EU.