go to content
Politics

Tony Blair Says Scotland Will Leave the UK If Britain Leaves The EU

The former prime minister also admitted that he was "worried" about the upcoming referendum on Europe.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Tony Blair has said the future of the UK will be at risk if Britain votes to leave the European Union.

Facebook: video.php

In an interview on Tuesday with French radio station Europe 1, the former prime minister said he was "very worried" about about the upcoming referendum, but added that he believed the UK would vote to remain in the EU.

Blair also said the vote could damage Britain's union. He said: "There's a little-mentioned aspect, which is that, in my opinion, if the UK votes to leave Europe, Scotland will vote to leave the UK."

This has been a point of contention among pro- and anti-EU campaigners since the Conservatives announced that there would be a referendum for Britain to leave the EU before the end of 2017.

Pro-EU campaigners have warned that Scotland could demand a second referendum in case of a Brexit vote. First minister Nicola Sturgeon said in September that the calls for another Scottish referendum could be "unstoppable" if Britain voted to leave the EU.

But Arron Banks, founder of the Leave.EU campaign, has rubbished such warnings. In a debate earlier this month, Banks said there's "no chance" Scotland would choose to leave the UK as they didn't do so "at the peak of Scottish nationalism".

In the Europe 1 interview, conducted in French, Blair said there were "important strategic and economic reasons to stay in Europe," citing emerging powers such as China and India.

However, he also sought to play down how widespread the Brexit debate was in the UK and said it was "an issue more on the right of the political spectrum in the UK."

Commenting on Blair's comments, SNP MSP Christian Allard said: "Tony Blair is the latest Labour figure to raise doubts over the EU referendum's impact on Scotland – with leader of the Labour In campaign Alan Johnson previously saying that if Scotland is forced to leave the EU against its will it would cause a 'constitutional crisis'."

Blair's intervention comes as news reports have suggested that senior government officials are floating the idea that the EU referendum could be held as early as 23 June.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.