Blair: Brexit has given me the impetus to get involved in politics again
The former prime minister said he wanted to help shape the policy debate around Brexit.
Britain will want to re-join the European Union at some point in the future, Tony Blair has predicted.
The former prime minister said last year’s vote for Brexit – which he strongly opposed – had given him the impetus to become involved in politics again.
While he made clear that he was not planning a return to Parliament, he told the Daily Mirror that he wanted to help shape the policy debate.
“This Brexit thing has given me a direct motivation to get more involved in the politics. You need to get your hands dirty and I will,” he said in an interview to mark the 20th anniversary of his 1997 general election triumph.
“I am going to be taking an active part in trying to shape the policy debate and that means getting out and reconnecting.
“I know the moment I stick my head out the door I’ll get a bucket of wotsit poured all over me, but I really do feel passionate about this.
“I don’t want to be in the situation where we pass through this moment of history and I hadn’t said anything because that would mean I didn’t care about this country. I do.”
Mr Blair warned that Britain would be worse off outside the EU and suggested the country may eventually wish to return.
“The single market put us in the Champions League of trading agreements. A free trade agreement is like League One. We are relegating ourselves,” he said.
“My prediction is it may take another generation but at some point we will want to be back in the EU – there is a direct link between the number of people and the size of an economy.”
In a separate interview with GQ magazine, Mr Blair admitted that 10 years after leaving office, he still found it hard to cope with the idea that he was a hate figure to some people.
“Yep, it’s hard. It’s all about coming to terms with the fact that when you’re running for power you can be all things to all people,” he said.
“But when you achieve power you have to make decisions and when that happens, and the process of government is your life, you become less popular,” he said
The former PM said he should have communicated more after he left power because his silence had allowed others to portray him in a bad light.
“That was definitely a mistake. If you read about what I have been doing these last 10 years you’d think I have just been going round the world making money when I have spent the vast bulk of my time in the Middle East, in Africa, on the things I believe in.”