Keir Starmer Says Labour Will Not Take The UK Back Into The European Union

The Labour leader says he "couldn’t disagree more" with those who want the 2016 referendum result overturned.
Keir Starmer says he wants to end the divisions over Brexit.
Keir Starmer says he wants to end the divisions over Brexit.
Danny Lawson via PA Wire/PA Images

Labour will not take the UK back into the European Union, Keir Starmer will declare tonight.

In comments likely to infuriate many of the party’s members, the Labour leader will say he would not rejoin the single market, the customs union or bring back freedom of movement if he becomes prime minister.

He will say re-running the Brexit debate “would ensure Britain remained stuck for another decade.”

Starmer’s remarks put him at odds with London mayor Sadiq Khan, who recently said the UK should go back into the single market.

Speaking at an event organised by the Centre for European Reform think tank this evening, Starmer will say: “There are some who say ‘We don’t need to make Brexit work. We need to reverse it’. I couldn’t disagree more.

“Because you cannot move forward or grow the country or deliver change or win back the trust of those who have lost faith in politics if you’re constantly focused on the arguments of the past.

“So let me be very clear: with Labour, Britain will not go back into the EU. We will not be joining the single market. We will not be joining a customs union.

“The reason I say this is simple. Nothing about revisiting those rows will help stimulate growth or bring down food prices or help British business thrive in the modern world.

“It would simply be a recipe for more division, it would distract us from taking on the challenges facing people and it would ensure Britain remained stuck for another decade.”

The Labour leader will add: “We will not return to freedom of movement to create short-term fixes. Instead we will invest in our people and our places, and deliver on the promise our country has.”

Starmer will say his plan will “deliver on the opportunities Britain has, sort out the poor deal Boris Johnson signed, and end the Brexit divisions once and for all”.

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