Former British prime minister Tony Blair has hinted at his support to have a second referendum if a “significant part” of those who voted for Brexit change their mind.
Speaking to launch his campaign to “persuade” people not to leave the EU, Mr Blair said:
If a significant part of that 52 per cent show real change of mind, however you measure it, we should have the opportunity to reconsider the decision.
Whether you do it through another referendum, or another method, that’s a second order question.
The former leader of the Labour party also invoked the “propensity for revolt” seen across the developed to call on pro-EU supporters to convince people who “voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit”.
“As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind. Our mission is to persuade them to do”, he added.
Mr Blair said he wanted to “strengthen the hand of the MPs who are with us and let those against know they have serious opposition to Brexit At Any Cost”, adding:
This is not the time for retreat, indifference or despair; but the time to rise up in defence of what we believe – calmly, patiently, winning the argument by the force of argument; but without fear and with the conviction we act in the true interests of Britain.
The UK today unveiled plans to further its crackdown on immigration through “work and study routes” from non-EU nations, in a move expected to make it difficult for British firms to hire professionals from countries like India.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the annual Conservative Party conference in Birmingham she will be looking at a range of options to cut migration.
“Leaving the EU is just one part of the strategy. We have to look at all sources of immigration if we mean business… We will be looking across work and study routes. This will include examining whether we should tighten the test companies have to take before recruiting from abroad,” Rudd said as she announced a new consultation on tightening immigration.
New rules are expected to make it tougher for British companies wanting to bring in foreign professionals from outside the EU, including countries like India.
“The test should ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs British people could do. But it’s become a tick box exercise, allowing some firms to get away with not training local people.
UK PM Theresa May was speaking earlier today 2 Oct 2016
I’ve been out all day but re-tweeted to you on my way home so just posting now as I arrive through the doors.
The UK PM first confirmed the much-rumoured end-March deadline to trigger Brexit in an interview on the BBC this morning and has since addressed the Conservative Party Conference where she told delegates:
“We are going to be a fully independent, sovereign country – a country that is no longer part of a political union with supranational institutions that can override national parliaments and courts.
“And that means we are going, once more, to have the freedom to make our own decisions on a whole host of different matters, from how we label our food to the way in which we choose to control immigration.”
Given the two year expiry time of the Lisbon Treaty-based trigger that means the UK will have left by the summer of 2019 and that is at least one uncertainty out of the equation.
What May also confirmed though was that immigration and UK sovereignty will be top of the negotiation agenda at the expense of the single market. That in itself only intensifies the overall uncertainty of how Brexit will pan out. She has denied that it’s “hard Brexit” per se as but the jury’s very much out on that.
Britain’s new foreign secretary Boris Johnson has told the Parliament that India is on a long list of foreign missions who owe the country millions of pounds in unpaid bills.
According to 2016 figures released by Transport for London (TfL), Indian diplomats allegedly owe them over 4.4 million pounds in accumulated unpaid dues since 2003.
The list is topped by the US Embassy in London, which owes over 10 million pounds, followed by Japan, Nigeria and Russia, adding up nearly 97 million pounds in what TfL believes are “unpaid fees” by a majority of diplomatic missions from around the world.
Boris Johnson released the details as part of a written reply in the House of Commons last week, which includes details of 11 serious offences committed by diplomats of nine missions who have avoided prosecution due to diplomatic immunity.
His statement said money owed for cleaning and lighting bills had jumped 22 per cent in 2015, to 907,976 pounds.
He said: “However, 40,838 pounds of this outstanding debt is owed by Syria – which is not currently represented in the UK and we have therefore been unable to pursue this debt.
British lawmaker Andrea Leadsom has emerged as the top pro-Brexit candidate to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron earning slightly more support than Conservative lawmakers Michael Gove, a chief campaigner for the “Leave” campaign.
The surge in support for Leadsom signals a break in the ranks among proponents of exiting the European Union in the wake of former London Mayor Boris Johnson pulling his name out of contention earlier this week and potentially opening the door for the country to avert abandoning the EU altogether.
Online bookmaker William Hill now has Leadsom as the second-favorite to succeed Cameron at 5/2 odds, behind interior minister Theresa May, an ardent supporter of the “Remain” campaign, who continues to be the 2/5 favorite.
Michael Gove and Boris Johnson are not the only politicians to fall out of favor in the wake of Brexit which sent markets reeling erasing over $3 trillion in wealth before stocks rebounded on investor hopes that Britain may parachute out of their current predicament by installing a pro-Remain Prime Minister.
The race to become Britain’s next prime minister took a surprise twist Thursday as leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson, considered a favorite to replace the outgoing David Cameron, announced that he would not be running.
After outlining the demands of the role to a room full of journalists in London, Johnson announced: “Having consulted colleagues and in view of the circumstances in Parliament, I have concluded that that person cannot be me.”
The Conservative MP and former London mayor was a prominent voice in the campaign to lead Britain out of the European Union — an endeavor many saw as partly an effort to position himself as the future leader of the ruling Conservative Party, and of the country.
But having spearheaded the Leave campaign to an unexpected 52% victory last week, the colorful politician — living up to his reputation as a political maverick — has decided not to run.
While global financial markets, not to mention Europe’s political elite, rushes to preempt the global political fallout from Brexit, the UK itself is undergoing a chaotic and very much ad hoc politcal transformation, one which has seen no precedent in UK history, in the short day since David Cameron announced his resignation while the Chancellor George Osborne appears to have vaporized, just days after spending every waking moment prognosticating about doom and gloom should the Leave camp win.
In the middle of this transformation is none other than Boris Johnson, the leader of the successful “Leave” campaign, who however has cause to celebrate tonight because according to the Sunday Times, the former London mayor has won the backing of a key colleague to replace David Cameron as prime minister. Justice minister Michael Gove, who together with Johnson led the “Leave” campaign, called Johnson on Saturday to say he would back him for the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party,Reuters added.
The Sunday Times said interior minister Theresa May was expected to enter the leadership contest in the coming days and was likely to get support from allies of Cameron who see her as the best candidate to take on Johnson, a former London mayor.
May supported the “Remain” campaign but took a lower profile than Cameron and finance minister George Osborne, whose hopes of becoming the party’s next leader took a big blow with the outcome of the referendum.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron revealed his financial income in the past year, including some $282,000 given as a gift by his mother, amid the public’s calls for his resignation over the offshore scandal, local media reported.
On April 3, the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung exposed the alleged involvement of a number of former and current world leaders, among others, in offshore schemes by publishing materials it claimed came from Mossack Fonseca. The leak suggested that Cameron’s late father, Ian Cameron, had been a director of the offshore investment fund Blairmore Holdings, run from the Bahamas.
ccording to the documents obtained by the Sky News broadcaster, the British prime minister’s taxable income in the 2014-2015 financial year amounted to almost $300,000, some $60,000 of which Cameron earned by renting out his house in London.
The UK leader also inherited over $400,000 following his father’s death, the media outlet added.
Prime Minister David Cameron was put on notice Sunday that 50 of his own backbenchers will lead calls for Britain to quit the EU if he does not secure major concessions from Brussels.
A new group, Conservatives for Britain (CfB), has pledged to initially support Cameron’s bid to renegotiate London’s terms of membership of the 28-nation bloc.
However, the group also stands poised to lead the campaign to leave if the premier does not secure major changes, such as regaining control over free trade powers and British laws.
“Unless senior EU officials awake to the possibility that one of the EU’s largest members is serious about a fundamental change in our relationship, our recommendation to British voters seems likely to be exit,” Conservative lawmaker Steve Baker, the CfB’s chairman in parliament, told The Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the European Union then hold an in-or-out referendum on the outcome by the end of 2017.