Former PM Blair Calls For "Reformed Europe", Criticizes Current Labour Leadership

BRITAIN-EU-POLITICS-BREXIT

Tony Blair says he now accepts Jeremy Corbyn could become prime minister.

His office described an offer made by Britain last month as "fair and serious", though Barnier has dismissed it as falling short of the European Union demand that its 3 million citizens in Britain keep all their existing rights for life and have recourse to the European Union courts to enforce those rights even after Britain has left.

Last week, Michel Barnier, the Commission's negotiator - in warning the "clock is ticking" - called on Mr Davis to properly explain Britain's position as the talks resume, laying bare Brussels' frustration.

Their teams will spend most of the next four days in smaller working groups, trying to identify areas of accord and discord on a set of issues agreed on during an initial day of talks on June 19.

He told Today the situation in Europe was different to when Britain voted to leave the European Union - a move Blair described as "the most serious it's taken since the Second World War". Barnier says this must be ready by about October next year if it is to be ratified on both sides of the Channel before Britain leaves in March 2019.

A month after a first meeting, the EU's Brexit negotiator will press Davis to agree to Britain covering substantial British financial commitments and offer more detail on other British proposals.

He said the British people should be made aware of the possibility of Europe meeting the United Kingdom "half way" on a range of issues, predicting that Europe "will comprise an inner and outer circle" in the coming years.

"If a rightwing populist punch in the form of Brexit was followed by a leftwing populist punch in the form of unreconstructed hard-left economics, Britain would hit the canvas, flat on our back and be out for a long count", he wrote.

These talks focus on Britain's arrangements to leave the EU.

Blair, who led Labour for 13 years and was elected into Downing Street three times, said he is yet to get to grips with the new political reality. But British diplomats will try to exploit divergent interests among the 27, using Britain's hefty economic clout. "They do think Brexit means Brexit and, for now, there is no groundswell for a second referendum". The EU had demanded that Britain pay some 60 billion euros (R896-billion) as exit fee.

'I think it's a very unsatisfactory situation where you've got the Prime Minister surrounded by people who are just waiting for the moment they decide to throw her off the ledge, ' he said.

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