‘Utter lunacy!’ Ben Habib rages at Keir Starmer’s ‘vote of no confidence’ in Brexit

Keir Starmer and Ben Habib

Ben Habib has lashed out at Sir Keir Starmer's plans

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 21/09/2023

- 19:29

The Labour leader does not want to 'diverge' from the EU

Keir Starmer’s creep back to the EU has come under fire from former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib, who branded the plan “utter lunacy”.

The Labour leader said “we don’t want to diverge” from EU rules as he hinted at a closer relationship with the bloc should he win power.

In footage obtained by Sky News, Starmer appeared to support the idea of the UK and Brussels “sharing a future together”, suggesting there will be less friction should this be the case.

Speaking on GB News, Habib told Patrick Christys that Starmer is essentially planning to “mimic” the EU with laws that he would introduce should he earn the keys to Number 10.

“It’s utter lunacy. It’s remarkable. We could be so much more if the Government actually believed in us”, he said.

“Remember, when they take us back into the EU or the associate membership that they’re talking about, they’re consigning Westminster to being a council as opposed to being a national legislature.


“That’s effectively a vote of no confidence in themselves.”

The Reform UK member added that Britain has done little to reap the benefits of Brexit since its departure from the bloc in 2020.

“Brexit hasn’t been a disaster, we’ve just failed as a country to do anything material with Brexit”, he told Patrick Christys.

“We’ve still got 4,800 EU regulations on our statute backs which Kemi Badenoch sadly chose not to repeal, which I feel should have been repealed.

\u200bSir Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer is facing backlash for his EU remarks


“We’re still hitched by eight constraints to the EU as far as state aid competition, including the pernicious drive to net zero is concerned.”

Starmer risks reigniting the debate about the nature of post-Brexit relations with Brussels after speaking at an international summit of “progressive” politicians including Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

“Most of the conflict with the UK being outside of the (EU) arises insofar as the UK wants to diverge and do different things to the rest of our EU partners,” he said.

“Obviously the more we share values, the more we share a future together, the less the conflict, and actually, different ways of solving problems become available.

Patrick Christys and Ben Habib

Ben Habib spoke to Patrick Christys on GB News


“Actually we don’t want to diverge, we don’t want to lower standards, we don’t want to rip up environmental standards, working standards for people that work, food standards and all the rest of it.

“Suddenly you’re in a space where notwithstanding the obvious fact that we are outside the EU and not in the EEA, there’s a lot more common ground than you might think.”

Labour have so far approached the topic of EU relations with caution as the party bids to win back parts of the electorate who voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.

While Brexiteers believe Britain will be burdened with unnecessary red tape as a result of closer EU ties, others believe it could ease trade.

Starmer’s remarks have been latched upon by Tory ministers including Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who questioned what Labour “stands for”.

He posted on X: “Keir voted remain. Then he backed a second referendum. Then he didn’t. Now he wants to rejoin the EU in all but name. What does Labour stand for?”

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris claimed Sir Keir had “revert(ed) to type”, citing his previous support for remaining in the EU, while Tory MP Simon Clarke said “being a rule-taker… would be a disastrous mistake”.

Labour sources rubbished the Conservative criticism and called on the Government to “come clean with the public on which standards they want to reduce”.

A party spokesperson said: “We don’t support dynamic alignment.

“We’re not joining the single market or the customs union.

“We will not be in a situation where we are a rule-taker.”

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