Sadiq Khan tears into Brexit and demands UK urgently rejoins EU single market - 'I simply can't keep quiet'

The London Mayor criticised the Government's approach to Brexit and its relationship with Europe.
The London Mayor criticised the Government's approach to Brexit and its relationship with Europe.
George McMillan

By George McMillan

Published: 12/01/2023

- 15:04

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:23

The London Mayor also took a swipe at Sir Keir Starmer, attacking him for his stance on leaving the EU

Sadiq Khan has torn into what he is calling the Government’s “denial” over the damage caused by Brexit.

In a speech on Thursday, the Mayor of London is set to call for the UK to have more alignment with Europe and for Britain to rejoin the single market.

He will say: “I simply can’t keep quiet about the immense damage Brexit is doing.

“Ministers seem to have developed selective amnesia when it comes to one of the root causes of our problems.

“Brexit can’t be airbrushed out of history or the consequences wished away.

“After two years of denial and avoidance, we must now confront the hard truth: Brexit isn’t working.

“It’s weakened our economy, fractured our union and diminished our reputation. But, crucially, not beyond repair.

“We need greater alignment with our European neighbours – a shift from this extreme, hard Brexit we have now to a workable version that serves our economy and people.

“That includes having a pragmatic debate about the benefits of being a part of the customs union and the single market.”

The speech also hits out at Sir Keir Starmer and his calls to “make Brexit work”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer during a Brexit Business Working Group breakfast at KPMG offices in Belfast. Picture date: Thursday January 12, 2023.
Sir Keir Starmer has been criticised for his calls to "make Brexit work".
Liam McBurney

Responding, Downing Street said the UK Government’s position has not changed.

Asked whether Rishi Sunak agreed with Khan’s call for a discussion on rejoining the European single market, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It is not one I’ve put to him.

“But no, our position has not changed.

“The British people set out their view back in 2016 and the Government is busy enacting.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan appears before a Police and Crime Committee at City Hall, London, to answer questions the resignation of former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick after a review by Sir Thomas Winsor found he had breached due process. Picture date: Wednesday November 16, 2022.
Sadiq Khan is expected to tear into Brexit and the "damage" it has done.
Kirsty O'Connor

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