Peter Hoskin

Is Blair’s bid for the EU presidency still alive, after all?

Is Blair’s bid for the EU presidency still alive, after all?
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I still think there are too many hurdles standing in the way of Tony Blair, but it's worth noting this passage from Ben Brogan's latest blog post about our former PM's chances of becoming EU President – particularly the bit I've highlighted in bold:

"When the manoeuvring [by EU leaders] is stripped out, who is their first choice [for the EU presidency]? Weirdly, 12 or 13 say Blair. Strip out the ones who are dead against – Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria (now there’s a triple alliance to conjure with – talk about surrender monkeys) – and the Swedes who hold the presidency and that leaves you a sizeable majority and the chance of winning a few more over. Mr Zapatero of Spain will go along with whatever Mr Brown wants and will square the PES on the result; Mr Sarkozy is still keen on Blair; and Angela Merkel? She wants to avoid a row and has a good history with Mr Tony. So that is why it is possible – just – to see a deal emerge, when minds are focused around that table, when the EU realises that the first choice is often the best one."