Tony Blair called for stricter controls on migration curbs to avoid Brexit

FILE- In this Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 file photo, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is interviewed by Maria Bartiromo during her "Mornings with Maria" program on the Fox Business Network, in New York. Blair said in an article published Saturday, July 15, 2017, there’s a chance Britain won't leave the European Union, and stopping Brexit is "necessary" to avoid severe economic damage. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Vastavam web: Britain’s former prime minister Tony Blair on Sunday called for stricter controls on migration from within the European Union (EU) to avoid the country having to completely split from the economic bloc.The Labour leader, under whose leadership the UK is seen as having opened its doors to migration from around the world in the 1990s, said the times have changed.
He writes: “My government in 2004 did not invoke the transitional arrangements when eastern Europe joined the EU.Back then the economy was strong, the workers were needed and actually the biggest annual numbers came post-2011.”But the real point is that the times were different; the sentiment was different; and intelligent politics takes account of such change.” Under existing rules, citizens of other EU countries can be removed after six months?if they have not found a job, have no realistic possibility of finding one, and require support from the UK?s welfare system
The former prime minister argues that by bringing in proper immigration controls it would be possible to take back control of Britain?s borders without leaving the EU.Blair says the concerns of “leave” voters about “pressure on services”, “downward pressure on wages”, the “cultural integration” of migrants and control now “cannot be ignored”.His institute’s report, authored by Harvey Redgrave, a former Downing Street policy expert, suggests British Prime Minister Theresa May seeks to get the EU to modify its freedom of movement rules by introducing an emergency brake on new arrivals when public services are overstretched.
Blair warns the Labour party that it should back tougher measures to avoid being painted “as the open borders party” and says party leader Jeremy Corbyn should start “making the case against” Brexit.He writes: “We can curtail the things that people feel are damaging about European immigration, both by domestic policy change and by agreeing change within Europe. This is precisely the territory the Labour Party should camp upon.”Other than President [Donald] Trump, I can?t think of a single leader of any of our major allies or partners who thinks this decision is anything other than self-harming.”