Lord Adonis gets grilled by Hartley-Brewer on EU vaccine row
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Despite having happened more than four years ago, the Brexit referendum continues to divide opinion. More recently, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said tensions between the bloc and UK are not due to problems with the Northern Ireland protocol – agreed by both sides – but Brexit itself. This came following the first day of the EU Council, the first such meeting since the introduction of the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement at the beginning of May.
Ms von der Leyen said: “The beginnings are not easy, tensions are being felt around the access, for example, of EU fishing boats, or tensions are without any doubt there around the implementation of the protocol of Northern Ireland.”
The protocol is just one of a number of complications that have surrounded the UK’s departure from the EU.
Despite the severance being set in stone, many Remainers continue to claim the UK could still rejoin the Brussels bloc.
Lord Andrew Adonis, the Labour peer, has repeatedly voiced outrage over the result and urged Westminster to rethink its decision to go ahead with the withdrawal.
Yet, a new poll commissioned by YouGov has found that generally, the region of the UK most associated with Brexit – the Red Wall – reflects much of the way Britons think nationwide.
In January, Lord Adonis 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.”
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The call for a return would likely enrage the majority of the country if the fresh poll is anything to go by.
Nearly 2,000 people were surveyed, with an emphasis on Red Wall voters in the aftermath of England’s local elections.
One of the questions asked: “In hindsight, do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the European Union?”
While Red Wall residents agreed by 50 percent that the UK was right to leave, Britons in general agreed by 41 percent, only marginally less in the scheme of the debate.
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Patrick English, the poll’s research manager, told The Times’ Red Box podcast that it showed how the country is more unified than previously believed.
The revelation will come as a bitter blow to Lord Adonis and his Remainer allies who have long since claimed that the close 2016 vote – 52 to 48 percent – proved that the issue was not yet solved.
A lesser 37 percent of those Red Wall residents believed the UK was wrong to leave the EU, compared to a larger 45 percent in the rest of the country.
The margins were even closer when respondents were asked: “How well or badly do you think the Government is doing at handling Britain’s exit from the European Union?”
Here, 45 percent of Red Wall residents agreed that it was going well, compared to 43 percent of Britons nationwide.
Conversely, 47 percent of Britons believed the Government was handling the exit badly, while 41 percent of Red Wall residents viewed it the same.
Lord Adonis has not been alone in his vehement opposition to Brexit.
Lord Michael Heseltine, the Tory peer, has several times moved to block the Government’s efforts to pass Brexit legislation, despite it representing a move away from his own party.
In December, as the UK and EU came closer to a trade deal, he urged MPs and peers to oppose it.
In a joint statement with Lord Adonis and former Tory minister Stephen Dorrell, they said: “We call on all opposition voices, including any Conservatives who put country before party, to refuse to endorse the Government’s deal.
“This deal bears no resemblance to what was promised; it damages Britain’s economy, jobs, security, trade in vital goods and the respect with which the UK is held and opponents of the deal should not allow themselves to be held responsible for its consequences.
“The only people who should vote for this deal are those who are willing to accept responsibility for its consequences.”
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