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Express: ‘Out of touch’ Tony Blair and John Major claim Brexit-believers are ‘totally un-British’

Date: 19 03 2017

‘Out of touch’ Tony Blair and John Major claim Brexit-believers are ‘totally un-British’

FORMER Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major have been “unpatriotic pessimists” after they launched a new offensive to stop Brexit over the weekend.

Fears have been raised by campaign group Leave Means Leave that the two former residents of 10 Downing Street are planning on launching a new bid to “obstruct” Brexit in a move that could damage the economy. 

Major forced Britain to sign away much of its sovereignty with the Maastricht Treaty while Blair was one of the architects of further integration with the Lisbon Treaty. 

In an astonishing interview on the Marr Show Mr Blair called on Labour to back holding a second referendum to reverse last year’s historic vote. 

The former Prime Minister also tried to rewrite history on immigration. 

He claimed that his decision to open the floodgates to Eastern Europeans in 2004 had no effect on the Brexit vote and that most of the immigrants arrived after 2008. 

Tackled on whether he knew how many eastern Europeans would move to Britain, Mr Blair said: “No, we didn’t know the numbers.”

Mr Blair then claimed that the 2004 expansion of the EU with 10 new countries including Poland, Lithuania and Hungary, had been a “good thing” for Britain’s security and economy. 

He said: “We could have delayed for four years their ability to come here and work. We didn’t, it’s true, the economy was in a completely different position in 2004. 

“But I point out the majority of EU immigration came post 2008. 

“One of the tragedies of Brexit is we are now in a situation where we think this enlargement of the European Union… was some sort of error. 

“It was actually a bipartisan policy of both governments that has done great benefits to this country overall.”  

Despite his claim official data on net immigration confirms that there was a huge increase from 2003 to 2004. 

In 2003 15,000 EU migrants moved to Britain but in 2004 it was 87,000. In 2005 96,000, in 2006 104,000 and in 2007 127,000. 

Also he failed to admit that other countries including France and Germany had a seven year period to 2011 protecting them from the full effects of free movement. 

He then claimed that the Government would get bogged down in “unparalleled complexity” over negotiating Brexit. 

And in a stunning statement the former Prime Minister who has started a Remoaner think-tank added: “What the Labour Party should say is, ‘We believed in Remain, we still think the best thing is for Britain to be part of the European Union, we acknowledge the people voted against that, we acknowledge therefore the Government have a mandate to negotiate Brexit, but we are going to hold them to the test that they have set, and if they do not pass that test then we are going to retain the right to represent the people of this country should their will change, to offer them the option of staying’.” 

Meanwhile Sir John Major launched a fresh attack on “ultra Brexiteers” within the Conservative Party accusing them of seeking to force a complete break with Europe. 

The former prime minister said that having won the referendum last year with “fake facts and bogus promise”, the “ultras” were now shouting down anyone who expressed an opposing view in a way that was “totally un-British”. 

The two were dismissed by Richard Tice, the co-chairman of Leave Means Leave. 

He said: “British businesses are embracing the opportunities Brexit offers. “Unpatriotic pessimism and obstruction from the likes of Blair and Major is potentially very damaging to the British economy.” 

He added: “I urge them to end their negativity and join the patriots who want to see Brexit delivered swiftly.” 

Senior Tory MP Peter Bone said: “Tony Blair is part of the European elite and is not part of the real world. 

“The fact is that the referendum last year was a definitive moment, both sides said it would be binding and we are now leaving the EU. Does he just want another referendum every year until he gets the result he wants?” 

He added: “Tony Blair is even out of touch with his own party and its voters. He has about as much weight in the Labour Party as Lord Heseltine has in the Conservative Party.”

March 19th, 2017: Express