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Britain becoming 'a bit of a joke' over Brexit, says former Blair aide

Britain becoming 'a bit of a joke' over Brexit, says former Blair aide
By Euronews
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Tony Blair's former press secretary Alastair Campbell says absence of political leadership to blame.


Britain is coming to be seen by the world as "a bit of a joke" because of Brexit, Tony Blair's former press secretary has said.

Alastair Campbell, who is campaigning for a new referendum, was speaking to Euronews' political editor Darren McCaffrey.

"I think it's humiliating for Britain," he said. "I've gone beyond caring about whether it's humiliating for Theresa May I think it's humiliating for Britain. We are coming over to the world as a bit of a joke and one of the reasons for that is the lack of leadership."

Campbell made the comments just hours after British Prime Minister Theresa May cancelled a crucial parliament vote on her Brexit deal, admitting she thought her deal was set to be rejected "by a significant margin."

The decision to delay the vote was met with criticism and confusion by political figures all across Europe.

READ: Official reactions after British PM Theresa May delays parliament vote on Brexit

READ: What is May's tactic behind delaying the Brexit vote?

May then set off from London for a tour of Europe, seeking assurances from the EU's 27 heads of government on her deal.

Her spokesman said May had a productive meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the first stop on a tour of European capitals.

The two agreed to work to find a way through the current situation, he said.

"The prime minister set out the concerns held by many about it in the UK. She discussed the need for additional assurances on this point in order for the deal with the EU to pass the House of Commons," he said.

"What is important here is getting something that is going to satisfy parliament, and we are open to how we achieve that."

Assurances on the Irish backstop are central to her trip.

However, Europe is not so welcoming to the idea. Donald Tusk tweeted on Monday evening that the EU had no intention of reopening negotiations.

"We will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop," he wrote. "But we are ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification. As time is running out, we will also discuss our preparedness for a no-deal scenario."

Parliament will now vote on whether to approve Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal before January 21.

May will hold a meeting of her cabinet on Wednesday afternoon.

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