VIDEO: Foreign Secretary speaks out on Tony Blair in Carnforth

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The Foreign Secretary has hit back at Tony Blair’s comments about David Cameron during a visit to Carnforth.

Speaking on a visit to Havwoods flooring company in Carnforth, Mr Hammond said: “This debate about Britain’s future in the EU is happening.

Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary, visits Havwoods flooring company in Carnforth on Tuesday.

Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary, visits Havwoods flooring company in Carnforth on Tuesday.

“The Labour party might like to sweep it under the carpet and deny the British people a say, but they can’t.

“The best way to deal with the debate is in a grown up manner, to get the best deal we can in Europe and put it to the British people to decide once and for all. Pretending the debate isn’t there won’t achieve certainty and clarity for the future.”

Earlier today, Mr Blair warned that David Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership would cause economic “chaos”.

Mr Blair said Mr Cameron had put “exit on the agenda” by pledging a vote and that leaving would threaten the UK’s position as a “great global nation”.

Mr Hammond also hailed Havwoods, which has showrooms in Rome, Sydney and Melbourne, as well as an Australian distribution centre, as an example of a British business thriving due to foreign exports.

“This is a fantastic new facility, a business which is growing at a fantastic pace and they’re doing that on the back of strong customer service and an excellent reputation, and that’s securing the jobs of the people who work here,” he said.

“Having a good balanced business that includes an export business is very important.”

The Carnforth Business Park-based Havwoods, run by the Whiley family, celebrates its 40th birthday this year.