Thursday

9th Apr 2020

Blair: Debate, not referendum on Europe

British prime minister Tony Blair believes that Britain does not need to have a referendum on the new European Union constitution because it will not bring a fundamental change to the British constitution.

Talking to journalists yesterday, before his flight to the Gulf region, the British prime minister ruled out the need for a referendum on the new EU constitution, however he stressed that now is a good time to debate Britain's place in Europe.

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"I think it's time we had this debate about Europe", the prime minister said, according to the BBC. "We should decide as a country whether we want to go forward in the European Union or not", he added.

"We don't govern in this country by referendum but we do exceptionally have referendums", Mr Blair told journalists. The question of a single currency is much more fundamental and therefore deserves a referendum, he admitted.

"If there was a fundamental change [proposed in the new constitution] there would be a case for having a referendum. But there are no proposals coming out of the convention at the moment that amount to such a fundamental change", said Mr Blair.

The British centre-right wing press is campaigning for a referendum as is the opposition. Last week a high profile campaign 'Vote 2004' was launched in order to persuade the UK government to put the constitution to a referendum.

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