Sir Keir outlines Labour’s soft Brexit plan

PUBLISHED: 13:58 10 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:58 10 December 2017

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer

PA Wire/PA Images

Sir Keir Starmer wants Britain to “stay aligned” to the European Union after Brexit.

Sir Keir Starmer wants Britain to “stay aligned” to the European Union after Brexit.

The Shadow Brexit Secretary added that there may have to be payments and easy movement of people in order to retain the benefits of the single market and the customs union.

He signalled his support for a soft Brexit, stating: “We do have a choice, do we want to stay aligned so that we can trade successfully or do we want to tear apart and I say we should stay aligned.”

Labour he insisted had been “very clear” that the party wanted a partnership that “retains the benefits of the single market and the customs union” and wanted a new treaty.

Speaking on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, Sir Keir said: “We would start with viable options, staying in a customs union and a single market variant which means full participation in the single market,” adding that it was the only way to achieve no hard border in Northern Ireland.

He went on: “You can’t sweep the customs union and the single market off the table on the one hand and also say you don’t want a hard border in Northern Ireland...You can’t have no hard border if you don’t have alignment.”

Asked if Theresa May’s deal struck with the EU this week would mean Britain would in perpetuity stay very, very close to the single market and the customs union, he responded: “Yes, and I think that’s the right thing and I think we should hold her to that because that goes to the heart of the question what sort of Britain do we want to be?

“Do we see Europe as our major trading partner in the future or do we want to rip ourselves apart from that?”

Asked if Britain would have to carry on paying some money in, he said: “Norway pays money in, they do it actually on a voluntary basis... there may have to be payments, that’s to be negotiated.”

On freedom of movement, he said: “Well that would have to be negotiated but the end of free movement doesn’t mean no movement, of course we would want people to come from the EU to work here, we would want people who are here to go and work in the EU, the basis of that would have to be negotiated.”

Asked if this would mean easy movement if not free, he replied: “Yes, of course.”

Speaking about regulations and standards, Sir Keir added that if the UK wanted the benefits of the single market and the customs union “you’ve got to stay on the same level playing field”.

He said: “We are very comfortable with staying on a level playing field.”

Asked if Labour would call for a second referendum, he replied: “We haven’t called for a second referendum, things are moving so fast it’s hard to know what’s going to come next but we are not calling for it.”

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of a series of important votes this year. Here is a list of the events organised across Britain in the coming weeks and months.

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy