Labor shadow minister ‘hopes’ UK to rejoin EU single market

Labor shadow minister ‘hopes’ UK to rejoin EU single market

A member of Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet told the party it was recorded telling supporters that she hopes the UK can rejoin the EU’s single market and customs union.

Shadow Justice Minister Anna McMorrin suggested that a Labor government could renegotiate the existing Brexit deal, saying: “We certainly need to renegotiate the deal.”

She also shared her desire to bring Britain back into the EU’s single market. “I hope that eventually we will return to the single market and the customs union, and who knows then,” said the frontbencher.

Hit by the loss of support from Leave voters, Sir Keir has been careful to avoid promising any significant changes to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal – saying only that he wanted to make the arrangements “work”.

Video of the Labor Communication event, obtained by The sun, showed Ms. McMorrin being asked about the possibility of a return to the EU’s single market. “I hope so – I really hope so,” she said.

The shadow minister told the event: “At the very least, customs union and single market, I think in the future I hope we come back to that. Right now, there’s really no space to have that conversation right now.”

She added: “Right now, what we need to do is define what we are doing, what we have now, where we are now… Going into government, there might be some room to renegotiate. We certainly need to renegotiate the deal, certainly.”

But Labor made it clear that its comments did not reflect the party’s position. “The policy is clear,” said a spokesperson. “We need a strong relationship with EU partners, but that does not involve joining the customs union or the single market.”

Ms Morrin later said The Independent: “Labour’s policy on Brexit is clear. We left the EU, Labor voted for the deal. It is now the job of all of us to make it work.”

The prime minister taunted McMorrin about his Brexit comments at PMQs after she challenged him on her own Tsar’s earlier comments on the cost of living, saying he “has to go”.

Mr. Johnson replied: “I read… that she wants to go back to the single market and the customs union. If this is the true policy of the Labor Party… why doesn’t the opposition leader admit it?”

Cabinet shadow minister David Lammy said in September that a Labor government would “fix” the Brexit deal – appearing to raise the prospect of further talks with the EU.

At the time of the labor conference, Lammy said: “This is [Mr Johnson]business. When we get to the government, we will have to see how to fix his deal.”

However, Sir Keir said emphatically last year that there was “no case” for any “major renegotiation” of the EU withdrawal agreement. He has since talked about making Brexit “work”.

This comes as the EU launches legal action against the Johnson government in response to unilateral moves to rip up parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol in its own Brexit deal.

The protocol bill is “extremely damaging to mutual trust and respect between the EU and the UK,” said Maros Sefcovic. “That is why the Commission today decided to take legal action against the UK for failing to comply with significant parts of the protocol.”

Starmer said last week that a future Labor government would repeal any legislation passed to unilaterally abandon the mutually agreed protocol.

“We would rule out legislation,” Sir Keir said on a visit to Belfast – who said the UK-EU dispute over protocol checks “can be resolved at the negotiating table with diplomacy, with high levels of trust”.

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