McCluskey attacks ‘out of touch’ ex-PM over immigration stance
TONY BLAIR stuck his nose into the Brexit debate yesterday, saying the referendum result should be ignored and demanding a clampdown on immigration.
The former prime minister also called for unemployed immigrants to be denied NHS treatment.
His comments brought a swift rebuke from Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, who said Mr Blair “misses the point” about immigrant workers, whose abuse by “greedy bosses” leads to the undercutting of wages and working conditions.
Mr McCluskey argued that only a proper regulation of the jobs market could stop the abuse when Britain leaves the European Union.
He also described Mr Blair as “yesterday’s man,” adding: “He’s as out of touch now as he was in 2004.
“He doesn’t address the idea because what Tony Blair and the New Labour government were a part of, and certainly what the Conservatives have continued, is creating this race-to-the-bottom culture within our society rather than a rate-for-the-job society.”
Mr Blair spoke after publishing a paper calling for tough new rules which would give Britain more control over immigration without leaving the EU — disregarding the referendum result.
He claimed that the only way to make a success of Brexit was to turn Britain into a low-tax, low-regulation country competing with the EU.
And he attacked Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, asserting that a Corbyn-led government would be a “serious problem” for Britain.
He said: “And the risk is actually that we have a Brexit followed by, I’m afraid, an unreconstructed leftist programme from Labour, and if you combine those two things together, in my view we will be in a very serious situation as a country.”
Mr Blair commended the way Mr Corbyn fought the general election, but added: “That doesn’t make that programme right.”
Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths said: “This is yet another ruse to block and reverse the democratic referendum result.
“Blair and his big-business allies refuse to recognise that for many people, leaving the EU is more an issue of national sovereignty than of immigration.”