POLITICS
10/12/2017 10:13 GMT | Updated 10/12/2017 14:25 GMT

Keir Starmer Admits Labour Would Follow EU Regulations Even If UK Did Not Get A Vote

'The end of free movement does not mean no movement.'

The UK should accept EU regulations even if the UK does not get a vote, Labour has said. 

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer also said Brexit does not automatically herald the end of all free movement of people, agreeing his party prefers “easy movement”. 

He has said his party would continue some payments into the EU and would stay close to single market regulations - referred to as a Norway-style deal - before adding: “We do not want to deregulate.” 

Asked about how a new migration deal would work on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Starmer said: “The end of free movement does not mean no movement. Of course we would want people from the EU to come and 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.” 

Seeking clarification, Marr asked if this meant “easy movement if not free”, and Starmer replied: “Yes, of course.” 

He went on to answer “yes” when Marr asked if his position was that the UK should match future EU rules and regulations even if Brexit meant the country did not get a vote.  

Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer on the Andrew Marr Show

“We do have a choice, do we want to stay aligned so we can trade successfully or do we want to tear apart,” said Starmer. “And I say we should stay aligned.

“We are talking about what sort of Britain we want to be and what the next 40 or 50 years might look like, and I don’t think anybody voted to make it harder to trade with the EU.” 

Marr pointed out to Starmer that Labour’s position - continuing with “easy” movement of people and aligning all regulation - meant the party had opted to make Britain a “vassal state” of Europe, a phrase used by Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner. 

Starmer replied: “We did a lot of work over the summer developing our policy,” adding “how we negotiate that agreement with the EU is up for negotiation, it doesn’t mean cut and paste”. 

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford meanwhile, has been urging the Labour Party to full membership single market and customs union.