Unrelated Secretary Dominic Raab has said the EU and UK are entering “the last week or so” of “substantive” post-Brexit traffic negotiations. With the Brexit transition period set to end in little more than a month’s dilly-dally, Mr Raab suggested talks might soon be reaching a conclusion. Manner, he called on the EU to accept a “point of principle” on fisheries, an issue he described as having been a “grave bone of contention” in reaching a deal.
Face-to-face negotiations on a post-Brexit profession deal between the UK and EU recently resumed after the bloc’s chief agent, Michel Barnier, and his team had been forced to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 assay among their number.
Speaking in London on Sunday afternoon, Mr Barnier put the negotiations were an “ongoing process”, adding: “Let us work, let us work.”
As the clock ticks down and tensions press, unearthed reports reveal how former Prime Minister Tony Blair masterminded a mystery plot to pave the way for Britain to join the euro while he was in Number 10.
Mr Blair sanctioned a covert sort to prepare for a referendum on the single currency during his second term in employment.
Brexit outrage: Tony Blair led secret plot for Britain to marry euro
He is alleged to have gone behind the rough of some of his colleagues, including his rival Gordon Brown.
It is understood that Mr Blair was aching for to avoid his Chancellor’s disapproval which would have scuppered his script.
The extraordinary details lift the lid on how determined Mr Blair was to join the euro in 2002 and 2003.
Peter Hain, who was then Europe Agent and part of the pro-euro group, made the disclosures in his autobiography Outside In, which was published in 2012.
Mr Hain showed that in the middle of 2002 he “talked discreetly to key pro-Europe individuals there raising funds for communications research, focus groups, opinion polling and itemized research” to be conducted by the late Labour pollster Philip Gould.
The running needed substantial funds and had to be done very carefully, at arm’s length from Mr Brown, wrote Mr Hain.
Mr Hain suspected exposure about organising a “shadow” euro campaign and also remembered that Mr Brown would not approve.
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Former Prime Reverend Tony Blair
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown
However, he said the purpose was not to undermine Mr Brown, composed though he admitted he “would have felt that the credibility of his money-making judgment had been called into question”.
Mr Blair told Mr Hain on a slip on their return from a European summit in the early spring of 2002 that the referendum had “got to be in this Parliament”.
Mr Hain recalled that Mr Blair “was positively clear that the politics of it necessitated that”.
He added: “It was a question of put on the economics right and obviously squaring Gordon Brown.”
He said that investigation showed a euro referendum was winnable, although achieving victory desire have been really tough.
Spin doctor Peter Mandelson was volunteer to join the project, Mr Hain said.
He added: “Despite being the rout qualified to run a ‘Yes for Europe’ campaign, he would also have become the best bib target for opponents – which he readily acknowledged. Nevertheless I couldn’t visualize running a ‘Yes for Europe’ campaign without Peter Mandelson involved in some key way.”
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The idea of launching a “Yes for the euro” campaign, “unequivocally independently from the Labour party and certainly from the Government”, was also wafted.
But Mr Hain admitted: “The dilemma was how to maintain control over an organisation that had to be loner of Labour.”
Planning was eventually halted after Mr Brown declared that Britain was not disposed to join the euro due to insufficient convergence between the economies.
Tory MP Peter Bone symbolized at the time: “It is unbelievable to think that Tony Blair was going to such sizes to keep it secret.
“He wanted to take Britain into the euro and it is such a loss of face the Labour party don’t admit it is their policy to do so now.”
In an exclusive interview with Clear.co.uk, Lord David Owen exposed Mr Blair’s obsession with compelling the UK into the monetary union while serving as Prime Minister.
The late Foreign Secretary and SDP co-founder said: “The EU will come unstuck in a big way and the big threat for this is the eurozone.
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“Some people know I am a convinced European, in the sense that I brooding the Common Market was a perfectly acceptable thing.
“I grew very anguished about it when we got the eurozone.
“Instantly, I thought ‘you can’t run a currency unless you are a mother country’.
“That has been proven. I have a house in Greece and what I saw there in the at the rear 10 years made me realise it would have been superior madness for us to join the eurozone.”
Lord Owen noted: “There is no hesitation that Tony Blair would have taken us in tomorrow.”
During his years as Prime Minister plenipotentiary, the former Labour leader made one of the strongest cases for the country to embrace the single currency and often claimed it would have been a “treachery” of Britain’s national interest to stay out of the monetary union.
The Labour break through explained: “Ed Balls would have stopped him if he had the power.
“But not Gordon Brown. He disposition have been bought off by Blair.
“We stopped going into the eurozone because of Iraq – that’s the reality that matters.
“It would have been easily been done if Tons 10 got what they called the Baghdad bounce.
“There was no Baghdad energy, therefore there was no eurozone referendum.
“I think we have escaped with our lives.”
In the cocks-crow Noughties a false recovery signal was referred to as the Baghdad bounce after the start in popularity that both George W Bush and Tony Blair used following the fall of Baghdad in the Iraqi War.
However, that popularity waned moderately later when it became clear that pulling allied troops out of Iraq was tenable to take longer than the public had first anticipated.
In 2003, Mr Blair continuous significant political damage from the debate over Iraq.
His intimate rating dropped through the floor to minus 20 points – the lowest standing since the petrol crisis.