LABOUR have been panned after immediately dismissing an EU proposal to look at reopening freedom of movement for young adults.

Keir Starmer’s party insisted they can negotiate a better Brexit deal than the one struck by Boris Johnson – which they backed in Parliament – but also insisted that freedom of movement was a “red line”.

It comes after the European Commission said in a press release on Thursday that it had “proposed to the council to open negotiations with the United Kingdom on an agreement to facilitate youth mobility”.

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The commission said that, under the envisaged agreement, both EU and UK citizens aged between 18 to 30 years would be able to stay for up to four years in another country without a visa.

The goal would be to help tackle issues such as huge numbers of job vacancies in areas such as hospitality in the Highlands, and reciprocally in places like French ski resorts.

Maros Sefcovic, the executive vice-president for European Green Deal and the former EU Brexit negotiator, said: “The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union has hit young people in the EU and the UK who would like to study, work and live abroad particularly hard.

“Today, we take the first step towards an ambitious but realistic agreement between the EU and the UK that would fix this issue. Our aim is to rebuild human bridges between young Europeans on both sides of the Channel.”

However, Labour dismissed the proposal almost immediately.

A party spokesperson said: "Labour has no plans for a youth mobility scheme.”

They added: "A Labour government would seek to improve the UK's working relationship with the EU within our red lines – no return to the single market, customs union or free movement."

Alyn Smith, the SNP’s Europe spokesperson at Westminster, hit out at Labour for refusing to even countenance the proposal.

He said: "Keir Starmer is simply wrong to rule out an EU freedom of movement-style deal for young people – and it shows the only way to regain the huge benefits of being in the EU is for Scotland to regain our EU membership as an independent country.

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"Brexit has been a disaster – hammering the economy, increasing the cost of living, harming the NHS, and robbing people in Scotland of the right to live, work and study across the EU.

“It's madness on stilts that Keir Starmer's Labour Party is wedded to Brexit and offering no change.

"And it shows why voting SNP at the General Election is essential. It is only SNP MPs that will stand up for Scotland, and advance our journey back to the EU as an independent country."