Lloyds Banking Group chairman Lord Blackwell has called the UK-EU relationship “increasingly unsustainable”.
Speaking in the House of Lords yesterday, the Conservative Peer advocated for “significant change in the current treaty arrangements”.
“The current position of the UK, bound by the same treaties and institutions, may become increasingly unsustainable,” he told peers.
“I don’t agree that remaining in the European Union without a significant change in the current treaty arrangements is ultimately sustainable from a political and constitutional perspective, nor do I believe that there is a compelling economic argument to override those considerations.”
Lord Blackwell, who worked in the Number 10 Policy Unit under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, has been chairman of Lloyds since last year.
Lord Blackwell also said that Britain would still be “attractive” to global firms after a so-called Brexit.
Dismissing concerns that the looming in/out referendum was injecting uncertainty into the markets, Blackwell said uncertainty is “the price of living in a democracy.”
“While uncertainty may mean that some business investment is held back in the short term, there are many reasons why the UK is likely to remain an attractive global location, whatever the outcome and ignoring the democratic process may be even more costly," he said.
Lord Blackwell has said that he speaks in a personal capacity, rather than on behalf of the bank, when he is in the House of Lords.