Friday, Jun 24, 2016 in Office of Tony Blair
Tony Blair spoke to Sky News earlier today about the result of the EU referendum. On the result, he said that:
“There will be very big consequences and we need to think our way through those carefully.
“It has got vast implications economically and politically. The prime minister has got a huge task in trying to bring people together. There is no point in hiding it, for me this is a very very sad day.”
Commenting on the accusations that the Remain campaign had been scaremongering, he said:
“I think you can see from the reactions already, those threats are real. The reality of the choice we’ve made is going to sink into the public consciousness in a big way in the days and weeks to come.
“We really need to think our way through this. What’s important now to stabilise our situation.”
He also spoke about the role of the Labour Party during the campaign, saying:
“I think the leadership of the Labour party was pretty lukewarm in its support for remain. I don’t think we mobilised our supporters to understand that this was not a protest vote against the government or indeed against the establishment. Those people in Labour areas can see cuts to local services, they can see pressure on local industry and jobs. These are the big challenges that country’s around the today world face. Unfortunately the right answer is to leave the largest commercial market and biggest political union in the world and I don’t think we really explained that to our voters.
“One of things I heard from Jeremy Corbyn was this notion that successive governments have let down the people in some of the Labour areas that are voting leave. We invested massively in those areas, we introduced things like the minimum wage, we signed up to European social chapter. The way to bring these people back to a sensible view of politics is to go and provide them with answers to the problems we face. It is about the future not in taking our country back to a time that doesn’t exist in the world anymore.”
Lastly, he addressed the challenges that centrist politics faces today, saying:
“You can see this happening about world, look at the United States of American and elsewhere in Europe: The centre left and centre right have lost political traction. We have got to accept that. The populous insurgent movements of left and right are taking control right now. We have got to work out where we are going. All of these problems are coming from the force of globalisation. The answers don’t lie in shutting ourselves off from the world. You can ride the anger from these populous movements, but you don’t actually produce the answers to the challenges that people face.
“The answers to the problems people face, is not to turn on migrants or to divide the country, it through education, it’s through infrastructure, it’s through understanding how the modern world works.”