In a stark appeal to Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer, Alistair Campbell, former Blair adviser, urges for a renewed push for UK’s re-entry into the EU, igniting debate on political strategy and generational influence on Brexit.
In a fiery appeal to the UK’s political landscape, Alistair Campbell, former director of communications and strategy for Tony Blair, sparked controversy as he urged Sir Keir Starmer, Labour Leader, to prioritise a British re-entry into the European Union at the next general election.
Addressing the European Movement UK in his latest speech, Campbell called the initial Brexit decision the result of “one generation”, suggesting a second referendum could overturn this outcome.
Campbell articulated his stand at the Julian Priestley Memorial Lecture, insisting that there were “votes to be won” if the Labour party pushed for a renewal of the Brexit conversation.
He further entwined the cost of Brexit with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, attempting to reignite public interest in rejoining the EU bloc.
Drawing from his recently penned op-ed for the Guardian, Campbell delineated the “Brexit lies and crimes” that he alleges were unjustly dismissed by the governing Conservative Party.
He accused the Tories of orchestrating an unsuccessful exit from the EU, using this as grounds for his call for a second referendum.
The controversial speech titled, “What one generation does, so the next can undo”, was delivered to a packed audience at Europe House, near Westminster.
Campbell pressed on Sir Keir to overcome his hesitancy and make the potential re-entry into the EU a central electoral issue. He argued this from a standpoint of “hard-headed, patriotic common sense” rather than ideology, insisting that the country needed to “repair the damage” caused by Brexit.
Simon Underwood, a professor of European politics who attended Campbell’s lecture, questioned the clarity of Campbell’s end goal, highlighting the polarising nature of the EU re-entry issue.
This move by Campbell follows his previous attacks on the pro-Brexit movement, including his criticism of the Government’s handling of the migration crisis, which he blamed on Brexit. This comes in the wake of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent announcement of the UK paying France nearly half a billion pounds to prevent migrant boat crossings.