Blair is "deeply worried" U.K. may leave EU.
As the European Union continues to assume ever greater powers over the once-sovereign nations of the region, voters in the United Kingdom have been fed up for a while. In fact, if they were allowed to vote in a referendum, polls consistently show the U.K. would overwhelmingly opt to ditch the EU once and for all.
According to the German newspaper Die Zeit, the will of U.K. voters ultimately being fulfilled has former Prime Minister Tony Blair "deeply worried." Meanwhile, a strategy paper by Asian banking behemoth Nomura showed that the bank is preparing for what its analysts believe is an increasingly likely scenario: British withdrawal, or at the very least, a mass repatriation of powers usurped by the Brussels-based entity.
In July, facing dissenters even among leaders in his own conservative party, British Prime Minister David Cameron reluctantly agreed to possibly consider allowing a referendum at some point in the future. Or not. Most of his statements were typical political pandering with no concrete pledges.
Despite Cameron's refusal to allow an immediate referendum--a temporary obstacle to British withdrawal at least--the prospect of letting voters decide has some establishment power brokers very nervous, considering how lopsided public sentiment against the EU now is. A recent poll by YouGov, for example, revealed that just 15 percent of the people would vote to remain in the EU as it currently stands.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, however, apparently thinks that if there were simply more "democratic legitimacy"--as in the largely unelected and unaccountable regional regime being perceived as less removed from the people it rules--everything would work itself out. "If more competences are transferred to the EU, then its democratic legitimacy must be built up too," the controversial former prime minister was quoted as saying. "Britain must play a strong role in this because we need a balance between European institutions and the nation states."
Current Prime Minister Cameron recently told lawmakers that the first priority should be dealing with ongoing instability and the financial crisis wreaking havoc throughout the region. Then, Britain could seek to advance its "national interest" through the EU, perhaps by renegotiating some aspects and returning some of the powers seized by regional institutions to London.