Monday 4 July 2022 / 7:30 PM Uncategorised

Keir Starmer sets out Labour’s 5-point plan to Make Brexit Work

Keir Starmer sets out Labour’s 5-point plan to Make Brexit Work

Keir Starmer will use a speech at the Centre for European Reform (CER) on Monday to set out Labour’s 5-point plan to Make Brexit Work. The Labour leader will say that 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”.

The Labour leader will argue that making Brexit work is essential 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”.

Setting out Britain’s relationship with Europe under a Labour government, Starmer will say: “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.” He 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.”

Criticising the Government’s failure to deliver, he will say: “While the Conservatives are flailing around, lashing out, and attempting to sow division, Labour has been claiming the centre ground of British politics once again.” Adding: “The Government have missed Brexit opportunities time and time again. It beggars belief that during a cost of living crisis that they still haven’t cut VAT on energy bills.”

On Britain’s relationship with Europe, Keir 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.

We cannot afford to look back over our shoulder. Because all the time we are doing that we are missing what is ahead of us.

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.

On Labour’s plan to Make Brexit Work, Keir Starmer will say:

The first step is clear and obvious. We must sort out the Northern Ireland Protocol. If you’re going to Make Brexit Work, that has to be the starting point.

Just a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to spend a week in Dublin and Belfast. Businesses there are clear: they can make it work. The solutions are there, the desire is there. What is lacking is trust.

That crucial ingredient that has always characterised progress in relations between our islands has been eroded by this government. Labour will change that. We will be the honest broker our countries need. We will get the protocol working and we will make it the springboard to securing a better deal for the British people.

As well as building trust, Labour would eliminate most border checks created by the Tory Brexit deal. With a new veterinary agreement for agri-products between the UK and EU. And we will work with business to put in place a better scheme to allow low-risk goods to enter Northern Ireland without unnecessary checks.

The second step we would take is to tear down unnecessary barriers. Labour would extend that new veterinary agreement to cover all the UK benefiting exporters at a stroke.

We will get the protocol working and we will make it the springboard to securing a better deal for the British people.

As well as building trust, Labour would eliminate most border checks created by the Tory Brexit deal. With a new veterinary agreement for agri-products between the UK and EU. And we will work with business to put in place a better scheme to allow low-risk goods to enter Northern Ireland without unnecessary checks.

The second step we would take is to tear down unnecessary barriers. Labour would extend that new veterinary agreement to cover all the UK benefiting exporters at a stroke.

The third step will be to support Britain’s world-leading industries. That means mutual recognition of professional qualifications, ensuring our services can compete and restoring access to funding and vital research programmes.

Step four would be to ensure we keep Britain safe. For too long, the Government has been blasé about European security. The actions of Vladimir Putin must jolt us back into reality. Because in the modern world if one of us is not safe then none of us are.

The final part of our plan will be to invest in Britain. The lesson of the last decade is that if we are to achieve economic growth and see the benefits flowing to every part of our country, we cannot simply be bystanders.

The Tory plan, as set out by Jacob Rees-Mogg, is about cutting standards, regulations, and protections before stepping back and gawping at the power of the market.

Labour’s plan looks very different. We will work hand-in-hand with business to bring the good, clean jobs of the future to our shores harnessing the power of government alongside the ingenuity of our brilliant private sector.

Together, we will open up new markets and create new opportunities.

The Government have missed Brexit opportunities time and time again. It beggars belief that during a cost of living crisis that they still haven’t cut VAT on energy bills.

Labour will be sharper than this. We will use our flexibility outside of the EU to ensure British regulation is adapted to suit British needs.

That is Labour’s plan to Make Brexit Work. It is a plan that puts the divisions of the past behind us and seizes on the challenges and opportunities of the future.

In 2016, the British people voted for change. The very narrow question that was on the ballot paper – leaving or remaining in the EU – is now in the past.

But the hope that underpinned that vote, the desire for a better, fairer, more equitable future for our country is no closer to being delivered.

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.

Ends

Notes to editors: 

Labour’s 5-Point Plan To Make Brexit Work 

Point 1 – Sort Out The Northern Ireland Protocol.

Sorting out the Northern Ireland Protocol must be the starting point to make Brexit work.

Agreement here can be the springboard to securing a better deal for the British people.

There is a clear landing zone to a deal. The Government just don’t want one.

Instead, their only plan is to stoke up old Brexit divisions. We must move on.

Labour will seek a new veterinary agreement for trade in Agri-products between the UK and EU. Something countries like New Zealand and Canada already have in place

This would eliminate most checks created by the Tories’ Brexit deal between the British and Northern Ireland border.

For all other goods we will work with business in Northern Ireland to put in place an enhanced and specialised trusted trader scheme to allow low-risk goods entering Northern Ireland without unnecessary checks.

Point 2 – Tear Down Unnecessary Trade Barriers.

Labour would extend the new veterinary agreement to cover all the UK which would tear down barriers for our Agri-product exporters.

We would seek to agree mutual recognition of conformity assessments across specified sectors so that our producers no longer need to complete two sets of tests, or two processes of certification, to sell their goods in both the UK and the EU.

Labour has no intention from diverging standards below current levels, so agreeing these common standards will not only help our exporters but create a safety net to ensure our food standards are world leading.

Labour do not support the return of freedom of movement.

However, we will seek to find new flexible labour mobility arrangements for those making short-term work trips and for musicians and artists seeking short-term visas to tour within the EU.

Point 3 – Support Our World Leading Services And Scientists.

Labour will seek mutual recognition of professional qualifications to enable our world leading service industries to do business in the EU.

Labour will maintain Britain’s data adequacy status meaning our data protection rules are deemed equivalent to those in the EU, enabling UK digital services companies to compete.

We will not seek regulatory equivalence for financial services as that could constrain our ability to make our rules and system work better.

However, Labour will make sure Britain’s world leading scientists are not missing out by giving our researchers access to funding and vital cross border research programmes.

Point 4 – Keep Britain Safe.

There is no reason why leaving the EU should weaken our security capabilities.

Bad relations, lack of trust and failure to secure cross-border and security measures in the Brexit deal is doing just that.

At a time when European security is under threat, we must strengthen our security cooperation with trusted allies.

Labour will seek a new security pact with the EU to defend our borders, by allowing us to share data, intelligence, and best practice.

We cannot take risks with terrorism, organised crime, and people trafficking.

Labour will seek to set up joint intelligence working to boost capabilities in Britain and the bloc.

And we will seek to create new models of joint working with EU and other countries to combat cyberattacks and the spread of state sponsored disinformation.

Point 5 – Invest In Britain.

Labour will use green investment and a commitment to buy, make and sell in Britain to ensure we are best placed to compete on a global stage.

Labour will embrace global trade outside of the EU. Labour wants Britain to lead the way in developing a new global trade approach that puts people, communities, rights, and standards at its very heart.

The Government have missed Brexit opportunities in the past 18 months, including missing the opportunity to cut VAT on energy bills.

Labour will use flexibility outside of the EU to ensure British regulation is adapted to suit British needs.

As an example, we will change rules on insurance, which are currently taken directly from EU regulations, to allow British pension savers to own and build British infrastructure.