My 2016 Hub Culture interview with Tony Blair, Former UK Prime Minister

Excerpts from the interview, conducted in the Hub Culture Ice House in Davos 2016.

“We still have challenges of migration. The source of it, and particularly the crisis in Syria are with us, they don’t stop at Europe’s borders.  I think what worries people about migration is the pure numbers of people and this is where it is important to have a common policy.  The other thing is security. People want to know exactly who is coming in, and that those who are coming in are genuine refugees.  In this debate in Europe we’ve mixed up those two issues.  One is the migration question which is an important question in its own right.  The other question is the anxiety – can we be clear as to who is coming in, and whether these people are coming in for the reasons they say? ”

In response to my question about whether the British people have any interest in another EU referendum? We’ve had so much discussion on it – are they numbed to it?

“I think they are a bit.  Here is where modern politics works in this way – where you get these enormous surges in opinion where people who are the loudest often make the running when I think for the broad majority of people – we just had a general election in Britain where Europe didn’t really feature as an enormous feature.  But we’re about to put Britain’s future with Europe on the line so we’re just going to have to make the decision.

In response to my question about whether Cameron would be able to secure a good deal with Europe for the UK.

“The thing about the European debate, if you want to stay in, you’re going to be satisfied with what he comes back with. If you don’t want Britain to stay in, it doesn’t matter what he comes back with you won’t be satisfied.”