Tony Blair is making a relatively rare UK speech this morning, outlining his vision for the future of the UK-EU relationship.
The key points the former PM will be seeking to make are:
· This is moment of existential crisis for Europe as serious and pivotal as the moment of formation
· The UK cannot afford to ‘fall-away’ from being able to shape that future – as we may end up spending the next 20 years trying to get back in.
· There is a profound power shift from West to East and it is only through the ‘heft’ of the EU that we the UK will maximise that.
Blair is expected to say:
“The truth is the rationale for Europe today is stronger not weaker than it was back 60 years ago when the project began. But it is different. Then the rationale was peace. Today it is power. Then it was about a continent ravaged by war in which Germany had been the aggressor and Britain the victor. Today it is about a world in which global geo-politics is undergoing its biggest change for centuries. Power is shifting West to East. China has emerged finally, with its economy opening up which will grow eventually to be the world’s largest. Its population is three times that of the whole of the EU. India has over a billion people. Brazil is two times the size of the largest European country, Indonesia three times and there are a host of countries including Russia, Turkey, Mexico, Vietnam, the Philippines and Egypt larger today than any single EU nation”.