Keir Starmer says he doesn’t want to diverge from EU
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves confesses Sir Keir Starmer’s latest anti-Brexit comments “shouldn’t come as a surprise”.
The remarks, picked up by Sky News last night, sparked fury from Tories, who said the mask had finally slipped.
Sir Keir was accused of wanting to “rejoin the EU in all but name” after saying “we don’t want to diverge” from EU standards and rules.
This morning Rachel Reeves was taken to task over the comments, with the BBC’s Martha Kearney suggesting the declaration “undermines” Brexit.
She said: “Doesn’t this undermine the whole idea of Brexit? If you’re just going to stick to the same rules and regulations that are run by the European Union?”
READ MORE: Brexit outrage as Keir Starmer admits he doesn’t want to diverge from EU
The top presenter called Sir Keir out on his latest Brexit position, citing a speech from last year in which the Labour leader said: “We can use our flexibility outside the EU to ensure that British regulations are adapted to UK need.”
Ms Reeves defended her leader’s comments, saying it “shouldn’t come as a surprise to people that an incoming Labour government doesn’t want to dilute workers’ rights, environmental protections or food standards”.
She said: “That’s not what Labour are about.”
The Shadow Chancellor repeated Labour’s claim that they will more easily renegotiate a better Brexit deal than the Tories, partly because of their desire to align on standards.
However these claims were dealt a blow this morning, after EU expert and researcher Anand Menon said he is “sceptical” about Labour’s chances of a “fundamental” review of UK-EU trading arrangements in 2025.
He added the EU “doesn’t want” a large renegotiation: “And even if this was possible, any such review would not really move the dial in terms of growth unless it involves what Labour rule out – Single Market.”
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Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy joined Sir Keir in calling for closer UK-EU relations, in an interview with the Mirror.
Mr Lammy said Labour would “reconnect” Britain and the EU, calling for a “fundamental” overhaul of the current Brexit deal.
Yesterday afternoon Brexit behemoth Michael Gove said the Labour leader’s comments had “shown the real Keir Starmer”.
He said: “I’m afraid that Keir Starmer has shown that he wants us to go back into the EU and back to the Brexit agonies of the past.
“He wants to return us to the EU effectively and he wants to rerun the Brexit agonies of the past.
“Of course, he originally argued for remain, then he said would accept the result, then he called for a second referendum, then he said he wants to make Brexit work, and now he says he doesn’t want anything to do with Brexit. He wants to stay as close to the EU as possible.
“That would mean that our power to get more houses, to create changes so we can improve food supply, and our power to have our financial services investing in our industry would all be compromised or gone.
“I’m afraid that Keir Starmer has shown that he wants us to go back into the EU and back to the Brexit agonies of the past.”
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