Starmer's Brexit plan exposed: Labour leader filmed vowing 'not to diverge from EU'

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer has said he wants to 'share a future' with Brussels

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 21/09/2023

- 15:35

Updated: 21/09/2023

- 18:10

The former Shadow Brexit Secretary vowed not to diverge from Brussels in a move which would drag the United Kingdom closer towards the European Union's orbit

Sir Keir Starmer has vowed not to diverge from the European Union as the Labour leader hopes to forge closer relations with Brussels.

The Leader of the Opposition appeared to go beyond his often cautious comments about Brexit at an event on Saturday alongside the Norwegian leader Jonas Gahr Store.

Responding to a question from former Sir Tony Blair aide John McTernan, Sir Keir said: "Most of the conflict with the UK being outside of the EU arises in so far as the UK wants to diverge and do different things to the rest of our EU partners.

"Obviously the more we share values, the more we share a future together, the less the conflict.

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"And actually different ways of solving problems become available.

"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.

"So suddenly, you're in a space where, notwithstanding the obvious fact that we're outside the EU and not in the [European Economic Area], there's a lot more common ground than you might think."

GB News understands the event was well-publicised as Labour officials rejected claims the footage was recorded in secret.

The Leader of the Opposition was accused of attempting to block Brexit 48 times ahead of the UK's eventual departure from the EU.

Sir Keir StarmerSir Keir StarmerPA

Sir Keir, who last week went on the continental charm offensive by meeting French President Emmanuel Macron, is poised to rip up parts of Boris Johnson's Brexit deal if he enters Number 10 at the next general election.

“Almost everyone recognises the deal Johnson struck is not a good deal – it’s far too thin,” he told The Financial Times.

“As we go into 2025 we will attempt to get a much better deal for the UK.”

The Labour leader is confident he can strike an improved Brexit deal, saying: "I do think we can have a closer trading relationship as well. That's subject to further discussion."

Boris JohnsonBoris JohnsonPA

He added: "We have to make it work. That's not a question of going back in.

"But I refuse to accept that we can't make it work. I think about those future generations when I say that."

Tory Brexiteers have been left fuming about Sir Keir's decision, warning it could hand back control to Brussels.

European Research Group chairman Mark Francois told GB News: "Keir Starmer remains a Remainer and always will.

Conservative Party MP Mark Francois speaks in the chamber of the House of Commons, WestminsterConservative Party MP Mark Francois speaks in the chamber of the House of Commons, WestminsterPA

"During what I call 'the Battle for Brexit' in Parliament several years ago, I watched him constantly conspiring with Europhile MPs to try to keep us in the EU anyhow he could, whilst repeatedly calling for a second referendum.

"These latest revelations now prove you simply cannot trust Starmer and Labour on Europe."

Buckingham MP Greg Smith said: "It's really clear from Sir Keir's comments and the tone he took while delivering them that he wants the UK absolutely tied to the EU.

"He has never accepted the referendum result and this is evidence of how his love for the EU demolishes any chance he has of understanding the benefits we can have from our sovereignty, independence and freedom."

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer


Ipswich MP Tom Hunt added: He's not to be trusted at all with Brexit or immigration."

A bemused Tory MP quipped: "I have no clue what Labour are playing at.

"It seems like they are doing everything they can to slowly sabotage themselves.

"If they just kept their mouth shut, they would be sleepwalking into Number 10."

However, Southside insiders suggested Conservative frustrations stem from their own Brexit failings as the Government has not taken the initiative to diverge from Brussels-derived rules and has not been clear with the public about where it is looking to do so.

Anti-Brexit campaigners wave Union and European Union flags outside the Houses of ParliamentAnti-Brexit campaigners wave Union and European Union flags outside the Houses of ParliamentPA

A Labour spokesman told GB News: "We don't support dynamic alignment.

"We're not joining the single market or customs union. We will not be in a situation where we are a rule-taker."

Labour instead hopes to reduce trade barriers and work on common areas of interest.

Sir Keir's party is also hinting at giving MPs a vote on any choice on alignment going forward.

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