Hit or Miss? Tony Blair calls for an elected president to prevent Europe splitting

Tony Blair gave a speech to the Council for the Future of Europe during which he called for an elected president of Europe.

Tony Blair (Credit: Rex Features)
Tony Blair (Credit: Rex Features)

He said if the eurozone crisis resulted in a 'fundamentally divided' continent, then the EU would be 'on a path to break up'. The former prime minister added that playing 'short-term politics' was not in Britain's interests and that the UK should play a 'constructive role' in shaping a more sustainable Europe.

HOW I SEE IT

Gill Morris, CEO, Connect Communications

This was always going to be seen as a self-serving proposition rather than a sensible solution. Tony Blair's message is undermined because it is obviously a job that he would love. Making a speech without doing more groundwork was the wrong strategy. He should have taken more people with him, and tested the water and built some consensus first.

His timing was also out. The prevailing winds of the UK establishment are blowing against the EU and his speech demonstrated that he is out of step. Blatant posturing - although I doubt that was his intention - is never good PR.

I can't see Labour taking his advice - not with European elections in 2014. It would be electoral suicide for Labour to sound like it is suggesting that the UK should contribute more to the Greek and Spanish economies, when it is promising a zero-based spending review in 2015.

MISS.

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