Sturgeon says independence 'essential' to avoid Brexit 'disaster'
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Sir Keir Starmer has pledged that Labour will not bring back freedom of movement or “rip up” the Brexit deal negotiated by Boris Johnson. While there have been claims that the Government is seeking a Swiss-style relationship with the bloc, Sir Keir has denied that this will be the case under a Labour Government.
Switzerland is not a member of the EU, however, they still have access to the single market, something not available to the UK.
Sir Keir served as Shadow Brexit Secretary for four years during Jeremy Corbyn’s time in Southside.
He has now warned that: “Ripping up the Brexit deal would lead to years more wrangling and arguing, when we should be facing the future.
“I’m worried that there are senior members of Rishi Sunak’s government who don’t seem to understand that, and are going round saying they want to open up the Brexit debate again.”
The Labour leader told The Mail on Sunday: “A Swiss deal simply wouldn’t work for Britain.
“We’ll have a stronger trading relationship and we’ll reduce red tape for British business — but freedom of movement is a red line for me.
“It was part of the deal of being in the EU but since we left I’ve been clear it won’t come back under my government.”
He said he would “always seek a close relationship with our neighbours”, but insisted that would not “be about the single market, the customs union or freedom of movement”.
While in Mr Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet, Sir Keir pushed for a second Brexit referendum and potentially rejoining the EU.
During his leadership campaign in 2020, he swore to “defend free movement as we leave the EU”.
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has reportedly been considering negotiating a closer relationship with the bloc.
In an appearance before the Treasury select committee last week, he said: “We do not support, we would not contemplate, I do not support, I have never contemplated, any agreement which means moving away from the TCA [Brexit deal], which means that we are not negotiating or deciding the regulations that we want as sovereign equals, paying unnecessary money to the EU, or indeed compromising on freedom of movement.”
In a YouGov poll for The Times, 54 per cent of Brits, including 39 per cent of Conservative voters, said they would support a new deal “where many trade barriers between the EU and Britain were removed, there was free movement between Britain and the EU, and Britain followed many EU rules and regulations”.
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