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EU could be flexible over movement: Tony Blair

He said leaving the single market was a "damaging position" shared by Labour and he urged the party's leadership to champion a "radically distinct" position on Europe.
Tony Blair
Reported by: IANS London July 15, 2017 15:01 IST

European Union (EU) leaders would be prepared to be flexible on freedom of movement of people to accommodate the UK after Brexit, according to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

In a written statement on Friday Blair said senior figures had told him that they were willing to consider changes to one of the key principles of membership of the single market, reports the BBC.

Blair said: "The French and Germans share some of the British worries, notably around immigration, and would compromise on freedom of movement."

He said leaving the single market was a "damaging position" shared by Labour and he urged the party's leadership to champion a "radically distinct" position on Europe.

"Rational consideration of the options would sensibly include the option of negotiating for Britain to stay within a Europe itself prepared to reform and meet us half way.

"

Reform is now on Europe's agenda. The European leaders, certainly from my discussions, are willing to consider changes to accommodate Britain, including around freedom of movement. Yet this option is excluded," the former Prime Minister added.

Blair's article is the latest intervention from the former prime minister, who has previously said Brexit was an issue he felt so strongly about, that it tempted him to return to politics.

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