Tony Blair 'on board with leaving EU in the 80s' says Adonis
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Speaking on “The Prime Ministers” podcast, Labour peer Lord Adonis revealed how as a young left-wing member of the Labour Party, former Prime Minister Tony Blair did not have an issue with the concept of Britain leaving the European Union either in public or in private. The revelations continued as Lord Adonis explained how Mr Blair’s views were as a result of his desire to fall in favour of then Labour leader Michael Foot.
Lord Adonis said: “Michael was the son of a liberal, his father was a very long-standing West Country liberal and indeed his brothers remained liberal.
“He was Oxford as well and I think he saw a kind of soulmate with Tony.”
Lord Adonis continued by stressing how at that stage in his career, Tony Blair was subscribing to “all the left-wing policies” and this shaped his view on Britain’s membership of the then European Economic Community (EEC).
Then in a surprise revelation, the Labour peer revealed how Blair “didn’t have a problem” with the idea of Britain getting out of Europe.
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He explained how this view was one that was held “publicly” as a fledgling politician in the early 1980s under Michael Foot.
But Blair also “wasn’t expressing many problems in private with leaving the European Union”.
Lord Adonis went on to say how Mr Blair was also “famously, though it was denied later it is true… a member of CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) then.”
The Labour peer said Mr Blair’s position on Europe and role in the CND was a result of him going “along with the orthodoxy” of Michael Foot’s Labour Party at the time.
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He concluded how ultimately this move by Mr Blair was what enabled Michael Foot to support him and enabled him to become a candidate at the age of 30.
Then in a stab at the Conservative Party, Lord Adonis drew a comparison of the move to today’s Brexit-voting Tory MPs.
He claimed: “It’s a bit like ‘you have to be a Brexiteer’ if you’re a Tory now.
“And I know plenty of Tories, you know plenty of them too!”
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Host Iain Dale slammed back: “That’s not true! That’s the subject for another podcast.”
Tony Blair voted to remain in the European Union during the 2016 referendum.
While following Britain’s decision to vote Leave he supported a second referendum.
Mr Blair was British Prime Minister from 1997-2007 and was the youngest Prime Minister since 1812 and the longest-serving Labour Prime Minister.
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