Former Prime Minister Tony Blair under attack for advising the government to curb immigration and still stay in the EU.
Tony Blair has come under fire from numerous people for intervening in the Brexit process, with Nigel Farage going so far as to call it a ‘hypocrisy that goes beyond the pale’ and Mr. Fallon, the defense secretary marking his suggestions to be ‘a bit late’ in the light of this situation.
In a surprising turn of events, the former prime minister has reversed his views on immigration policies, calling for a stringent immigration policy while still remaining in the European Union. This is directly in contrast to what his government had implemented in 2004 as a part of open-door immigration reform, especially for the European citizens.
Mr. Blair did admit that those policies have eventually led to Brexit. But he defended both his actions at the time as well as his report, stating ‘different times’ as the crucial factor leading to the series of events. He mentioned a few specifics from the report written by Harvey Redgrave, the former policy expert from Number 10, about some of the ideas that could be considered in the restructuring of the current immigration policy.
According to one recommendation, all EU nationals would be required to register before entering Britain. This will allow Border Security to keep records of each EU national entering or exiting the borders. Those seeking employment will need a job offer in their hands prior to their arrival in the UK. The people who comply will be able to have a ‘work permit’ allowing them to live and have bank accounts or claim benefits.
While these suggestions are suspiciously similar to policies adopted by some European nations, the issue of claiming benefits is still debatable, given that it is one of the reasons why the public services in the UK are undergoing a lot of strain. It remains to be seen whether his recommendations will be taken seriously by the House of Commons.