Brexit outrage: Tony Blair led secret plot for Britain to join euro

TONY BLAIR masterminded a secret plot to pave the way for Britain to join the euro while he was Prime Minister.

PUBLISHED: 19:04, Sun, Nov 29, 2020 | UPDATED: 19:06, Sun, Nov 29, 2020

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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said the EU and UK are entering "the last week or so" of "substantive" post-Brexit trade negotiations. With the Brexit transition period set to end in little more than a month's time, Mr Raab suggested talks might soon be reaching a conclusion. However, he called on the EU to accept a "point of principle" on fisheries, an issue he described as having been a "major bone of contention" in reaching a deal.

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Face-to-face negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU recently resumed after the bloc's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and his team had been forced to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test among their number.

Speaking in London on Sunday afternoon, Mr Barnier said the negotiations were an "ongoing process", adding: "Let us work, let us work."

As the clock ticks down and tensions rise, unearthed reports reveal how former Prime Minister Tony Blair masterminded a secret plot to pave the way for Britain to join the euro while he was in Number 10.

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Mr Blair sanctioned a covert group to prepare for a referendum on the single currency during his second term in office.

ctp_video, Tony blair, Tony blair news, European Union, European Union, eu news, eu latest, boris johnson, boris johnson news, brexit, brexit latest,Brexit outrage: Tony Blair led secret plot for Britain to join euro (Image: GETTY)

He is alleged to have gone behind the back of some of his colleagues, including his rival Gordon Brown.

It is understood that Mr Blair was desperate to avoid his Chancellor’s disapproval which would have scuppered his plan.

The extraordinary details lift the lid on how determined Mr Blair was to join the euro in 2002 and 2003.

Peter Hain, who was then Europe Minister and part of the pro-euro group, made the disclosures in his autobiography Outside In, which was published in 2012.

Mr Hain revealed that in the middle of 2002 he “talked discreetly to key pro-Europe individuals about raising funds for communications research, focus groups, opinion polling and detailed research” to be conducted by the late Labour pollster Philip Gould.

The operation needed substantial funds and had to be done very carefully, at arm’s length from Mr Brown, wrote Mr Hain.

Mr Hain feared exposure about organising a “shadow” euro campaign and also knew that Mr Brown would not approve.

JUST IN: Ukip founder reveals alternative to EU that could've stopped Brexit

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ctp_video, Tony blair, Tony blair news, European Union, European Union, eu news, eu latest, boris johnson, boris johnson news, brexit, brexit latest,Former Prime Minister Tony Blair (Image: GETTY)

ctp_video, Tony blair, Tony blair news, European Union, European Union, eu news, eu latest, boris johnson, boris johnson news, brexit, brexit latest,Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown (Image: GETTY)

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However, he said the purpose was not to undermine Mr Brown, even though he admitted he “would have felt that the credibility of his economic judgment had been called into question”.

Mr Blair told Mr Hain on a plane on their return from a European summit in the early spring of 2002 that the referendum had “got to be in this Parliament”.

Mr Hain recalled that Mr Blair “was absolutely clear that the politics of it necessitated that”.

He added: “It was a question of getting the economics right and

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