Gordon Brown has vowed to never give up the fight for Britain to rejoin the European Union, it has emerged.
Speaking at a Guardian Live event on Wednesday evening, the former Labour prime minister lamented the fact Britain had left the bloc, and for the first time explicitly called for the action to be reversed.
“I want to rejoin the European Union,” Brown said. “I’ll not give up. I didn’t support joining the euro because I didn’t think it would work for Britain, it wasn’t because I objected to a single currency.
“I’m not some mad integrationist that in all situations will say, integrate, integrate, integrate. But I do think our future is still European, and I do think that myself.
Brown admitted that he recognised rejoinging the bloc was “not what’s going to happen in the very short term. I also recognise that we’ve also got to find a better way of expressing global Britain, to persuade people of the need for international cooperation.”
Brown also stressed this wasn’t an instruction for Labour leader Keir Starmer, or a suggested policy decision but merely his own view. “I’m only saying it as a personal view. I still regret leaving the European Union, and I still see a long-term future as part of Europe. And that’s all I need to say. That’s my contribution to the debate. I’m not there to decide Labour’s policy at the next election.”
His comments come at a time when pro-Remain lobby groups have begun to relaunch, including that founded by Gina Miller, Best For Britain.
Labour peer Andrew Adonis has also ramped up his rhetoric recently, insisting Britain should rejoin the EU, incomprehensively citing the pandemic as a reason for more European solidarity.
The re-start of a pro-EU movement had been in the wings for some time, with Labour MP Rosie Duffield revealing back in January that Labour lawmakers weren’t accepting that the Brexit question was settled.
“No, I’m not giving up,” she told a Huffington Post podcast. “All the groups that I was involved with are already calling themselves ‘Rejoiners’. They’re starting to think about that. I think, maybe it’s a little bit too soon, but we might as well start to build a movement.”