Sir Keir Starmer admits Brexit NOT to blame for economic woes as he cuts down Remainer claims

Sir Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer has admitted Brexit is not to blame for the UK's economic woes, saying returning to the EU would not be a "silver bullet" for Britain

Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 05/12/2023

- 11:45

Updated: 05/12/2023

- 11:53

Starmer dismissed demands to return to the EU, saying it would not be a 'silver bullet' for the UK economy

Sir Keir Starmer has admitted Brexit is not to blame for the UK's economic woes, saying returning to the EU would not be a "silver bullet" for Britain.

Giving a speech in London, he claimed it would be a "mistake" to blame Britain's economic difficulties on Brexit.

WATCH: Starmer delivers Labour's plan for growth

But the Labour leader did say he would seek closer economic ties with Brussels.

Taking questions after the speech, which saw him lay out Labour's vision for the economy, Starmer said: "It is a mistake to think that all of our economic problems are caused by Brexit.

"We had flatlining on growth for 13 years, way before Brexit was a word, way before there was a vote and certainly way before we left.

"So it is a mistake to think that the EU is a silver bullet."

Earlier this year, Starmer confirmed he is planning to renegotiate the UK's relationship with the EU if he is elected.

The Labour Leader said he wants a closer trading relationship with the bloc, dismissing the 2020 deal struck by Boris Johnson as "not a good deal".

The deal is up for review in 2025. Starmer said he owes it to his children to strike a new partnership with Brussels and rebuild the relationship.

Starmer said the 2025 renewal date is an "important" moment to reset relations with the bloc.

The Leader of the Opposition, who is around 20 points ahead of the Conservative Party in the polls, told the Financial Times: "I do think we can have a closer trading relationship as well. That’s subject to further discussion."

Yesterday's speech also saw him say that delivering growth for the UK economy is the "path to public service investment and keeping taxes competitive".

He told the Resolution Foundation: "It will be a hard road to walk – no doubt about it.

"Anyone who expects an incoming Labour government to quickly turn on the spending taps is going to be disappointed.

"Inflation, debt, taxes are now huge constraints. Of course, we will make different choices.

"We will be ruthless when it comes to spending every pound wisely."


WATCH: Starmer rejects claims he wants to 'unpick Brexit' 

Starmer promised to offer a "counsel of realism, not despair".

Dubbing the Government's Autumn Statement "fiscal sleight of hand", he said it "showed the Government is quite prepared to salt the earth of British prosperity, in pursuit of its political strategy".

Starmer stressed the need for his party's brand of "securonomics", saying: "No matter what is stored up for us, it will remain our north star".

Speaking about the Tory party, he added: "They have refused to reassess the role of government as the careful steward in tough times."

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