Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the “biggest concern” behind the British exit from the European Union was “definitely” immigration.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer said Friday, “So you were concerned that the driving force that convinced millions of British citizens to choose to leave the EU was the fear that immigrants coming into, let’s say, other member countries of the European Union would be easily able to come in to Britain and live there. That was the biggest concern in Britain?” (VIDEO: MSNBC Host: Britain Left The EU Because The Population Is Xenophobic)
Blair said, “The biggest concern was definitely immigration.”
“And the whole lot of things get mixed up in this issue with immigration and as you know from the U.S., but we can see it anywhere in Europe today, this issue to do with immigration has the power to move electorates in a very sharp and clear direction.” (AUDIO: BBC Silences Discussion Of Islamic Terrorism And Rape Of Young Girls)
“There was a worry that, as a result of being part of the European market, this free movement of people within that market, we have had a lot of people migrate from different parts of Europe to come and work here in the U.K.”
“But the majority of our immigration is actually not from Europe. It’s from outside of Europe, and that’s not changed by this decision.”
Later, Blair said, “this is a vote in which I think, as the days and weeks and months pass, people will reflect very deeply on how many of our real problems have been solved by this decision. But you know they’ve taken the decision and obviously, it’s been a big jolt to those of us who really thought that it was near impossible for Britain to take a decision like this and take ourselves out of the largest political union and biggest commercial market in the world.”
In 2015, 630,000 people immigrated into the UK. 270,000 EU citizens immigrated into the UK as did 277,000 non-EU citizens.