Brexit: Vaccine model ‘benefit’ of leaving EU says Labour MP
Britain agreed a trade deal with the EU on Christmas Eve following several months of tense and often bitter talks. The UK finally cut ties with the EU on New Year’s Eve – ending an 11-month transition period that had seen London remain linked to Brussels’ rules on the single market and customs union. Several arch Remainers, including leading House of Lords peer Lord Andrew Adonis and then Liberal Democrats, have launched campaigns for the UK to one day rejoin the EU – recommencing 47 years of membership with the bloc.
However, a new poll has dealt a hammer blow to those hopes, showing fewer people support rejoining the EU.
The survey for The Spectator by polling company Redfield and Wilton quizzed 1,500 people on Wednesday about their thoughts towards the EU since the beginning of the ongoing row around Covid vaccine procurements.
It found Britons now have a more positive attitude towards the UK’s future outside the EU at 37 percent, compared to just 19 percent who are negative about the current situation.
But strikingly, more than a third (35 percent) said they are now less likely to support rejoining the EU, compared to just 23 percent who said they are more likely to be in favour of rejoining the bloc.
Brexit news: Boris Johnson has continued to hail the UK’s departure from the EU
Brexit news: The UK and EU agreed a trade deal at the end of last year
A further 26 percent said they are neither more nor less likely to support re-joining and 15 per cent don’t know.
EU leaders are today meeting at a crunch summit on next steps to aid vaccine rollout across the continent, with Boris Johnson refusing to rule out ‘measured and proportionate’ countermeasures if an export ban is enforced.
Thirty-nine percent of people quizzed in the poll backed the Prime Minister to launch such a move, compared to 29 percent disagreeing and 32 percent who were undecided.
Half of the poll participants backed the UK in the row over vaccine supplies, compared to just eight percent who supported the EU.
READ MORE: EU caves: Brussels backs down on vaccine export ban after Boris threat
Brexit news: Lord Adonis is campaigning for the UK to rejoin the EU
Earlier this month, it was revealed Lord Adonis is spearheading a plan to push the Government into signing a new agreement with the EU which would tie the UK closely to the bloc’s single market.
Speaking in Westminster, the Labour peer highlighted data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing exports to the bloc had fallen by up to 80 percent in January following the UK’s departure from the EU Single Market.
The Brexit critic suggested the possibility of a Swiss-style deal on agri-food shipments to assist trade and called on Lord Frost to meet with him to discuss his plan.
Switzerland is not a member of the EU it is closely aligned with the 27-member bloc, but is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and its trade relationship with Brussels is governed by a series of bilateral agreements.
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Brexit news: Lord Frost was the UK’s chief negotiator during talks with the EU
Brexit news: Lib Dem Layla Moran vowed the party would reverse Boris Johnson’s ‘damaging’ deal
Lord Adonis told peers: “We are of course where we are.
“But I am sure he would agree we have a particular problem at the moment with the export of animals, meat and shellfish, where exports are down by between 56 and 83 percent.”
He later took to Twitter to announced: “Lord Frost has agreed to meet me and other peers concerned about the collapse of our exports of meat, animals & shellfish to the EU by up to 83 percent.
“I wish to discuss with him the possibility of an access agreement similar to Switzerland’s – views welcome.”
Brexit news: The key moments that led to the UK’s departure from the EU
Last weekend, the Liberal Democrats vowed to reverse Boris Johnson’s “damaging” Brexit deal.
Layla Moran, who lost out on the leadership race to Sir Ed Davey, said at the Lib Dems conference: “Let me be unequivocally clear – our direction as an unashamedly pro-European party is resolute.
“To be liberal is to be internationalist to the core.
“In the meantime, we mustn’t wait on that important work to call out the Government for the damage their threadbare deal is doing to our country.
“The damage being done to people, to companies, to our education system, to our NHS and to our environment with every day of Boris Johnson’s incompetent leadership.
She added: “Boris Johnson promised to Get Brexit Done. And now our challenge to him is: make your Brexit work for the British people. And if you can’t, we can show you a better way.
“And to those Lib Dem members reading this who joined the party over Brexit and are as frustrated as I am about where the country is now: the best revenge is served at the ballot box, including this May.
“We – the Liberal Democrats – will endeavour to reverse the Tories’ damaging Brexit. We owe it to the British public and Europe to do so.”