This is what Tony Blair really thinks of UKIP

UKIP’s historic European Election victory has rattled politicians across the country. As the three largest parties in Britain prepare to set out their response to their newest unwelcome rival, former Prime Minister Tony Blair took to the airwaves to denounce the right-wing Eurosceptic party.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Blair said that UKIP “had no solutions to the problems of the 21st Century,” and that leaving the EU would be a “massive step backwards and contrary to the interest of the country”.

He said that the EU would have to “listen and lead”, in the wake of the elections, which saw a rise in anti-EU parties in several countries. He also said the EU would have to stop doing “irritating things”.

Blair said the EU must “confront and expose” parties such as UKIP.

“You look underneath that UKIP facade and you see something pretty nasty and unpleasant,” he added.

“You have got to take on people who, within countries, who are arguing for a combination of anti-EU and anti-immigration policies which are not the answer,” he said.

“I am afraid, with those forces, you have got to be prepared to stand up, lead and take them on.”

Blair said that Britain would thrive through striving to be “outward looking and open-minded”, rather than “closed-minded, anti-EU and anti-immigrant”, a view which he said was “reactionary and regressive”.

“Attitudes that are closed-minded, anti-immigrant, anti-EU, ‘stop the world I want to get off’, those attitudes don’t result in economic prosperity or power and influence in the world.

“There is a perfectly good, strong argument to be made - you have to go out and make it.”

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Readers' comments (11)

  • Anonymous

    The more the 'strong argument' for the EU is made (and Clegg did his best), the more people really understand what a weak argument it really is. The British public are waking up to the reality of just how damaging the EU is to our country much to the dislike of the smug metropolitan, left wing, media and elite

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  • I take a real disliking to Politicians like Mr Blair who constantly apply Nasty Labels to People or Parties who they personally dislike. So instead of reasoned arguments to win the voters we get these fishy allegations such as if you look under the hood there is something mean and nasty underneath. Really Mr Blair are you talking about yourself and your party because I have never seen Mr Farage say anything like that about any of you.

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  • Totally agree with anonymous and Peter Godfrey above. UKIP are not perfect, but at least they are fighting hard for the BRITISH people and a SOVEREIGN British nation. The EU is a failed experiment of the "elite" and it is time to dismantle it.

    Re UKIP, I just hope they can become more and more libertarian. Small government, big personal freedom!

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  • Mr Bair like many of today’s politicians seems eager to dismiss the genuine concerns of the votes on various issues linked to the EU. When will our UK politicians understand that more and more people are fed up with being spoon feed every five years with “we will do this, we will do that” from these people without ever doing anything. The Labour party can now find answers to all the questions that they failed to address in ten years in government, it’s quite amazing to watch.
    Like Cameron said, UKIP are a joke, well the joke is on them and all the other parties.

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  • Anonymous

    In 1998 Gordon Brown sold circa 250 tonnes of Bank of England gold at circa $245 an ounce. Current price now over $1,600 per ounce. Why? To depress the worldwide price of gold alongside other EU central banks who did the same; all to enable the introduction of a new fiat currency, the Euro. Practically everyone has forgotten about this and those that have not rarely make the Euro connection. The price of gold irritates central banks and politicians alike because it is a relatively finite and more importantly a tangible measure of value. In other words, the opposite to printing money that is not backed by gold (I.e. fiat currency) but instead is dependent on a collective confidence in a given economy. High gold prices basically advertise that some investors discount government bonds and the policies behind them. Btw who bought the gold? China, Russia, India and Japan. If they ever ask for it to be physically delivered we will find out how many times it has already been promised away as security to others. Hate to think what would result if it turns out to be more times than what actually exists. That is probably all one needs to know about the Euro and the politics. They cannot afford to stop printing money to pay the coupon on the bonds that they printed money to create them in the first place.

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  • Tony Blair. The UKs worst PM.

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  • Anonymous

    Don't lose too much sleep as to whether or not UKIP becomes a political power ! What is coming ( because of this weight of immigration ) will destroy our two biggest political parties, Labour and Tory's have created their own Unstoppable and irreversible MONSTER, UKIP can put their feet up, and watch these two major political parties get torn to shreds in the near future, Tony Blair ? Was the instigator !!

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  • I think Blair actually meant "We don't want to stop the Gravy Train"

    So many bureaucrats employed the only problem that I see with dismantling the EU is that we would have too many unemployed bureaucrats that would all rush here too!

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  • Diplo Docus

    This 2005 EU parliament encounter between Farage and Blair is interesting.

    So which of them was proved right by events? Not hard to guess.

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  • Mr Blair very dramatically "walked out" of the House of Commons, and thus letting down all those that had voted for him at one time. He surely cannot expect anyone to listen to him now?

    The people were told that this Country could not win the last war, and without doubt in 1939 this Country was not exactly in the best shape it could and should have been, but all pulled together in that war because of one truly GREAT Leader, the like, sadly, we have never seen since-one Winston Churchill.

    However, as we know it is doubtful that we will ever get to have that promised REFERENDUM, we are using the General Election in 2015 as the REFERENDUM we have been denied, and as we know-without doubt- all three major Political Parties want to remain in the EU-forever, we will place our "cross" by any Political Party or Organisation that wants out of the EU. I also add, that the Count after an Election is done on the same evening with all those that have taken part and are looking on, where-as a referendum is not given the same “rights” and certainly not counted on the same evening.

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