Blair was the most instinctively pro-European PM since Heath, says his former policy chief. But his government made some big mistakes—and contributed to Eurosceptic populismby Andrew Adonis / November 11, 2017 / Leave a comment
On 10th November, Andrew Adonis gave a lecture at Hertford College, Oxford on Tony Blair, for whom he worked as Head of the No 10 Policy Unit. You can find the full text below and watch it here. The talk was part of a series on prime ministers since Margaret Thatcher and their relationships with the continent.
In addition to being Blair’s policy chief, Adonis was Transport Secretary under Gordon Brown and now chairs the National Infrastructure Commission. He writes regularly for Prospect.
In my diaries there is this wonderful story Tony Blair told of President Chirac:
“Jacques told me how surprised he was that we had a homosexual in the cabinet. He’d been reading about Chris Smith. ‘We couldn’t possibly do that in France,’ he said. ‘Oh,’ I said, ‘I’ve got four in my Cabinet.’ His jaw dropped. ‘Four? Four?’ he repeated. ‘Mon Dieu, dear Tony, and you can’t even join the euro!’
Advancing gay rights was one of Tony Blair’s great achievements. By contrast, his support for the euro never came out of…