Starmer caught red-handed as new Brexit deal could force Britain to join Euro


The pitfalls of Sir Keir Starmer's plan to renegotiate the UK's Brexit deal with the EU have been exposed

Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 19/09/2023

- 09:05

Updated: 19/09/2023

- 13:56

The Labour Leader this week unveiled plans to renegotiate the Brexit deal - but experts and insiders have pointed out how much the UK would have to give up in order to strike a new agreement

The pitfalls of Sir Keir Starmer's plan to renegotiate the UK's Brexit deal with the EU have been exposed, as insiders have claimed the UK would have to rejoin the single market in order to secure a better deal.

Jacob Rees-Mogg told GB News that Starmer's planned renegotiation of Brexit would be the equivalent of a second referendum on Brexit but this time, done "by stealth".

He explained: "As a man who has always been a starry-eyed europhile, who of course was a champion of the second referendum. Why do you champion a second referendum? Because you believe the voters got it wrong the first time and need to be given a second choice. Now he wants to do it by stealth.

"Because renegotiation leads to dynamic alignment. Essentially, we would shadow the EU without becoming a member. So we would be like Norway - a rule taker without the democratic accountability that we now have for our laws by being an independent nation-state. So it would restore the democratic deficit."

Meanwhile, a Conservative Party insider told GB News that Labour would happily "creep back to EU", even if it meant heading back into the Euro.

A source close to the eurosceptic European Research Group added: "I think hardly any surprise in regard to where his heart really lies.

"He will always remain a Remainer and so I think hardly anyone is that shocked once his true colours start emerging."

Roderick Abbott, a retired trade negotiator who spent 30 years at the European Commission, said the UK would have to "do the whole thing or nothing", when it comes to securing deals with the EU single market, implying that the UK would have to rejoin the Euro.

Earlier this week, Starmer said he wanted to secure a "better deal" for the UK, in order to fix Britain's relationship with the EU.

He said: "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."

But speaking to the Financial Times, he explicitly ruled out rejoining the customs union, the single market or the EU itself.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly dismissed Starmer's plan as "delusional", meanwhile former Brexit trade negotiator Lord Frost said he may be living in a "fantasy world".

But a Labour source hit back at claims the UK would rejoin the single market, saying such a suggestion comes from "fantasy land" - using Frost's own words against him.

The source told GB News that Starmer "clearly says no single market" or customs union, adding: "If the Tories are trying to spin it that way, they’re lying and attempting to mislead the public."

Trade negotiator Abbott told the i: "If you’re looking at different connections in different sectors, that’s really quite difficult to do.

"You have to negotiate ‘substantially all your trade’ – those are the words under the WTO rules.

"And if he wants different deals on a sectoral basis, that runs up against the EU single market philosophy. They don’t like that. They say you have to have the whole thing or nothing."

Meanwhile, a source inside the Conservative Party added: "They will need to explain what they will give up.

"We’ve had years of this and know the EU hates cherry-picking – the price is usually money or movement."

Thinktank UK in a Changing Europe today published a report which concludes that it would be “very challenging” for Starmer to renegotiate a better deal than that struck by Boris Johnson in 2020.

Director Anand Menon said: “Keir Starmer’s desire to secure a ‘much better’ Brexit deal for the UK is all well and good.


"However, he failed to explain how tinkering with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement will make a meaningful economic difference.

"Moreover, he runs the risk of demanding more than the European Union is willing to give.”

Starmer met with French President Emmanuel Macron today.

He said the visit was aimed at working out how to "strengthen" the relationship between the UK and France.

The Leader of the Opposition added: "This was the first meeting that we've had and it's very important that we get to know each other and have that initial exchange of views.

"It was constructive and positive. We covered a lot of ground."

The Labour Party declined to comment.

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