Not So Great Britain

Blair rejects call for EU referendum

June 27, 2007
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Holding a referendum on the EU treaty would entail “sucking the energy out of the country for months”, Tony Blair said today.

Making his final full statement as prime minister before retiring on Wednesday, the prime minister rejected outright Tory demands for a plebiscite on the weekend agreement.

In an unusual move, the prime minister was joined on the frontbench for the statement by the new Labour leader, Gordon Brown, who will have to pilot the bill through parliament this autumn.

Mr Blair repeated his principal reason for refusing to grant a referendum: that Britain’s “red lines” had not been breached by the marathon negotiations, which only came to a close at 5am on Saturday morning.
But Mr Blair conceded that the 48-hour talks had comprised “an exceptionally difficult negotiation”.

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Blair set to clinch job as world’s man in the Middle East

June 27, 2007
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Tony Blair’s nomination for the post of international envoy in the Middle East is likely to be confirmed as early as today despite grumbles from Europe and last-minute wrangles over his job description.

Sources in London and Washington indicated yesterday that the announcement will be made if agreement is reached between the so-called “Quartet” of powers – America, Europe, Russia and the United Nations – which oversee the Middle East peace process.

Mr Blair’s nomination has been pushed by Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, and – to a lesser extent – the White House, in behind-the-scenes negotiations over recent months.


Posted in Tony Blair

Schwarzenegger, Blair to Meet in London

June 22, 2007
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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is scheduled to travel to London on Sunday, two days before British Prime Minister Tony Blair leaves office, to reciprocate a visit Blair made to California.


Bush ‘in envoy talks with Blair’

June 21, 2007
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President Bush has spoken to UK PM Tony Blair about his becoming a Mid-East envoy, a White House official says.

Mr Bush and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice directly discussed the idea with Mr Blair, the official said.

The president would reportedly like him to be an envoy for the quartet of the US, European Union, UN and Russia.

The official spokesman for Mr Blair said “there is a lot of speculation about the prime minister’s future and much of it is inaccurate”.


MP tells Blair Blame yourself for parliament’s weakness, not ‘feral’ media

June 19, 2007
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A backbencher humiliated Tony Blair when he confronted him with examples of how he had eroded the importance of Parliament during his decade in power.

In a withering attack, Tory MP Peter Luff accused Mr Blair of hypocrisy after he claimed last week that a “feral” media had damaged trust in politics.

He said it was unacceptable for the Prime Minister to blame the Press for the public’s declining respect for Parliament when there were at least nine examples of him treating it with disdain.


Posted in Tony Blair, UK

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