Ardent Remainer Lord Adonis has sparked fury on social media after suggesting the UK should have no hesitation in extending the post-Brexit transition period with the European Union.
In a post on Twitter, Lord Adonis indicated the whole nation wanted the UK to extend the negotiating period beyond December 31 – however, the ardent Remainer was quickly reminded that this was not the case by furious Brexiteers. The Labour Life Peer wrote on Twitter: “The Brexit transition period should obviously be extended. No-one serious thinks otherwise.”
The comments made by the 57-year-old sparked outrage amongst Brexiteers, who insisted 17.4 million people voted for Britain to leave the bloc back in the historic 2016 EU referendum.
One user said: “17.4 million citizens are serious, and they disagree.”
A second said: “No chance. Delayed by Remainers for far too long already.
“I voted Conservative for first time ever to escape FOM [freedom of movement]. Delay is not acceptable.”
A third user said: “What a shame then that our government appear to think differently.”
A fourth said: ”You are clearly hard of hearing so let me spell it out for you: There will be NO extension to the transition period. Hope that helps.”
Britain officially left the European Union in January, however, both sides have until December 31 to negotiate its future trading relationship.
A more critical deadline is fast approaching as the UK and the EU have until June to decide whether the negotiating period should be extended for up to two years.
Downing Street has constantly insisted the UK would not ask for an extension despite the current global coronavirus crisis and calls from EU leaders to do so.
Lord Adonis has been a constant advocate for Britain remaining part of the European Union and insisted the coronavirus crisis has made it even more important that the UK has close ties with Brussels.
Earlier this month, he wrote in The New European: “Europe’s challenges today are in many ways as great as 1945 and 1989.
“The European Union remains indispensable and Boris Johnson’s intention to crash out looks worse with each passing week.
“For more than anything, the coronavirus pandemic exposes the existential threat to our whole way of life of Xi’s China, Putin’s Russia and Trump’s America.
“Europe’s health, trade, democracy and security are all at stake. The EU will be central to Europe’s recovery and international clout once the lockdown is lifted, country by country.”
This afternoon at PMQs Prime Minister Boris Johnson shut down any talk of an extension and insisted the British people want Brexit over with.
In the House of Commons, the SNP’s Stewart Hosie said: “Both COVID and Brexit is suppressing trade, damaging jobs and the economy and while we hope, as COVID ends, global trade will bounce back, there is no guarantee that will happen quickly.
“The Prime Minister, though, could mitigate some of this damage by seeking an extension to the Brexit transitional period.
“Can he explain to the House why he is being so negligent in not seeking that transitional extension now?”
Mr Johnson replied: “I think a lot of people in this country don’t want to see the Brexit argument reopened.
“They want to see it settled, they want to see it done, and that is what this Government intends to do.”