Tony Blair, minister-president van Engeland vindt algemene rookverboden voor de horeca geen goed idee. Hij zal daarom elke poging daartoe blokkeren.
Rookverboden zoals die in de VS de gewoonte zijn vormen een ernstige beperking van de persoonlijke vrijheid, volgens de premier.
The prime minister has told colleagues that any step of this kind would be a severe restriction on people’s freedoms and would increase red tape for business.
With his difficulties over Iraq and public services, he has been warned that he risks alienating around a third of the electorate who smoke. “Tony’s view is that the best way to do this is through voluntary measures with business,” said a senior government figure.
“There is increasing evidence that businesses are willing to do something about it themselves.”
Blair has yet to make his view public but privately has no truck with European Union plans to outlaw smoking in bars, restaurants and cafes. He also disagrees with proposals put forward by his own chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, for a ban on smoking in public places.