1008 GMT October 21, 2019
Blair made the remarks in an article in the Daily Telegraph published on Thursday, more than a week after UK citizens voted in favor of a British exit from the EU, a bloc that the United Kingdom joined more than 40 years ago.
The former Labour Party premier called on the Conservative leadership to act “without bitterness” during EU negotiation process, adding his party is “effectively disabled” in the talks.
“There is going to be a negotiation of extraordinary complexity where there are a thousand devils in every detail. Those we used to call ‘our European partners’ are, unsurprisingly, divided and uncertain themselves,” Blair wrote.
He said certain countries wanted the UK to leave the EU quickly, while others supported a delay in invoking Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty to negotiate a withdrawal from the European bloc. “This needs serious statesmanship.”
“So before any formal negotiation begins, we need to get a high level sense of where the boundaries are going to be, the things that might be compromised, the things that are red lines,” he said.
“The psychology of the other 27 countries is crucial to feel and shape: they could decide that other secessionist movements should be deterred and so be disinclined to flexibility; or they could decide that the British view – especially on immigration – reflects something strong across Europe and have a measured response which tries to accommodate that sentiment,” he added.
In the June 23 referendum, about 52 percent of British voters opted to leave the EU, while roughly 48 percent of the people voted to stay in the union.
After the Brexit vote, the British pound crashed to its lowest levels in 31 years, dropping below $1.35 for the first time since 1985.
On Thursday, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Britain's economic outlook “has deteriorated” due to Brexit.
“In my view, and I am not prejudging the views of the other independent MPC members, the economic outlook has deteriorated and some monetary policy easing will likely be required over the summer,” Carney told bankers and business leaders.
Carney suggested that the central bank would probably need to pump more stimuli into Britain’s economy over the summer.