Lord Adonis, a former Labour minister, has emerged as a fierce critic of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. He has now suggested the key to coronavirus recovery will be for the UK to re-join the European customs union and single market.
This would mean big sections of British law would be made in Brussels, which the UK would have very limited influence over as a non-EU member.
Lord Adonis was responding to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s proposal for a “British Recovery Bond” scheme to relaunch the economy.
He said on Twitter: “The best ‘British Recovery Bond’ would be to re-join the European Customs Union and Single Market – to boost our trade and cut prices.
“Not a good idea to issue bonds which simply drive up HMG’s [Her Majesty’s Government’s] cost of borrowing, forcing taxes even higher when we can borrow cheaply anyway.”
His demands were met with criticism on Twitter, with one social media user telling him: “Get over it man. Find something else to do. Why not stand up for peoples freedoms?”
Another said: “How is it you still don’t know (or won’t accept?) you can’t have the EU CU & EEA as a non EU member?”
On Thursday Sir Keir urged Boris Johnson to offer citizens a Government savings account with a competitive interest rate.
This money would then be invested in helping the economy recover from the coronavirus crisis.
READ MORE: Frost to bully EU into major Brexit U-turn before April 1 deadline
“You can’t clap your keyworkers during a pandemic, then go back to business as usual and that is where this government will head.
“The first step has to be a recovery and a thriving economy, and if you put taxes up or you go for austerity, you will throttle that [before] you have even got to first base.”
However, Amanda Milling, Conservative Party co-chair, accused Labour of stealing policies.
She commented: “After 10 months of Keir Starmer, all Labour has to offer is others’ ideas, empty rhetoric and calling for things the Government is already doing.”
The Tories said Sir Keir’s ‘British Recovery Bond’ plan is similar to the ‘Northern Recovery Bond’ proposal made by the Northern Research Group of Conservative MPs.
Whilst a ‘Northern Recovery Bond’ has been proposed it is not yet Government policy.
Baron Adonis has argued Brexit will need to be “reversed” though he’s also been critical of the EU’s slugging coronavirus vaccine programme.
Last month he tweeted: “The whole point of the EU is that it adds value to the member states.
“It generally does so, which is why we will have to reverse Brexit in due course.
“But unless you are a fool, you believe that all human institutions are fundamentally flawed and in need of constant improvement.”
The EU has currently vaccinated a far lower proportion of its population than the UK.
The European Commission only ordered the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine three months after the UK did.