Reports indicate Clinton will soon fly to the UK to join Blair in the campaign against Brexit.
However, the itinerary of Bill Clinton’s visit cannot be confirmed until his wife, Hillary, is confirmed as the Democratic Party nominee, a source told the Times on Tuesday.
Both Clintons have backed the “Remain” positon articulated by serving US President Barack Obama during his recent UK visit.
“Hillary Clinton believes that transatlantic co-operation is essential, and that cooperation is strongest when Europe is united,” Hillary Clinton’s senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan told the Times.
“She has always valued a strong United Kingdom in a strong EU. And she values a strong British voice in the EU,” he added.
A recent YouGov poll suggests Bill Clinton is less trusted than both David Cameron and Nigel Farage on the EU. He is rated as trustworthy by only 14 percent of those asked, against Cameron’s 20 percent and Farage’s 23 percent.
The job of securing Clinton’s appearance has fallen to Blair, who forged a close alliance with Clinton during the Kosovo War and the eventual peace settlement in Northern Ireland.
Although many senior “Remain” figures are said to be against giving Blair a larger platform in the campaign, it is rumored he is also planning his own personal interventions.
The Clintons and Blairs are reported to have remained close despite the former US president’s mild criticism of the 2003 Iraq War, led by his successor George W. Bush and wholeheartedly championed by Blair.
Blair is reported to have regularly updated Hillary Clinton on events in the Middle East during his ill-fated stint as peace envoy to the region.
Swedes tell Britain: if you leave the EU, we’ll follow
If Britain were to leave the European Union, would it survive? Britain is one of the least enthusiastic members of the EU, but other more globally-minded countries are tiring of the protectionism and insularity in Brussels. Reformers in Sweden are aghast at the prospect of Brexit, seeing Britain as their main ally in trying to fight off protectionism (a recent study found an 89pc alignment of our interests, 88pc with the Dutch and Danes). But as many in Britain come to conclude that this fight is lost, and we’re better off out, many Swedes are coming to the same conclusion.
According to a poll by TNS Sifo, the largest polling firm in Sweden, 36 per cent of the Swedes would wish to leave the EU if Brits vote to leave, and just 32 per cent would stay. Remember, this is a Sweden that voted in defiance of its entire political class in 2003 against adopting the Euro. And, of course, a Sweden that has suffered more than most from the EU’s failure to respond to recent demographic challenges: it has ended up with more asylum seekers, per capita, than any country on earth.
This throws open a fascinating new line of argument for Leave. What if those voting to leave, far from being isolationist, are pioneers of a new globally-minded alliance of countries who are fed up with having to discriminate against non-European goods, services and people? Might a vote to leave put Britain at the forefront of a new internationalism: one based on genuine co-operation and respect for sovereignty?
And the Remain camp can, of course, say that Britain would be voting not just to leave the EU but to smash the whole thing. The collapse of the EU would be bound to bring horrid uncertainty: would we wish that upon our neighbours?
All told, Jean-Claude Juncker should – by now – be wishing that he had given David Cameron the deal that he wanted. The PM’s demands were modest, came with a firm democratic mandate – and one would have given him a valuable weapon to use in this debate. A deal granting a looser alliance with Britain and our northern European friends (imagined in Andrew Marr’s Brexit novel Head of State) would have made an ‘in’ vote a certainty.
Without a deal, Cameron was humiliated at home and has to resort to a type of virulent scaremongering which undermines his own credibility and the force of the ‘in’ argument. I always thought that refusing to grant Britain a deal was a big mistake. It may come to be the EU’s last big mistake.