Keir Starmer uses a speech on Monday to set out Labour’s five-point plan “to make Brexit work” – a slogan he first used in his speech at the party conference last year.
Labor’s approach is to try to dramatize the problem by focusing on practical issues, rather than reopening old political wounds:
1) Complete the Northern Ireland Protocol
Boris Johnson’s government is on a warpath with the European Union over the protocol, with controversial legislation making its way through the House of Commons that would reject aspects of the deal signed by the government in 2019.
Labor said talks between the two sides have a “landing zone” that would include finding a veterinary deal to cover agricultural commodities, removing many of the cumbersome controls.
For other goods, Labor says it will work with companies in Northern Ireland to create a credible trade plan to reduce the proportion of exports that should be subject to scrutiny.
2) Reduce paperwork
Labor will seek to extend the new veterinary deal to the UK, allowing UK produce to be sold in Northern Ireland, with exports to the EU potentially facing fewer controls.
It will also seek to negotiate “mutual recognition of conformity assessment” in some areas – leaving companies facing a range of tests just to meet standards required in the UK and EU.
Labor hopes it’s negotiable because, Starmer said, his government has no intention of cutting standards – although it’s unclear whether the EU will be convinced. Theresa May was aiming for a similar outcome but was poised to sign off on EU regulations on key commodities as a similar advocate.
Labor will look for new flexibility options for those wanting to work in the EU on a short-term basis, e.g. B. Musicians on tour.
3) support services and scientists
Point three involves a cluster of technological changes designed to make it easier for workers and companies to work in and export to the EU.
According to Starmer, Labor wants to negotiate with the EU, for example, on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications so that British professionals such as lawyers can practice more easily in the EU and vice versa.
And Labor will seek access to cross-border scientific endeavors like Horizon, to which UK scientists are currently denied access over disputes over the protocol – the EU ambassador to the UK recently dubbed it “collateral damage”.
4) Look for a security agreement
Former Prime Minister Theresa May used a speech in Munich in 2018 to pin her hopes on negotiating a comprehensive security deal with the European Union, despite her determination to abandon her usual foreign and security policy. When Boris Johnson took over negotiations, he abandoned the idea of focusing primarily on trade and the tangled issue of the Northern Ireland border. Starmer argues the current deadlock on the protocol is hampering the UK’s ability to work with the EU on other issues, including security – and says Labor will seek a new deal. This includes working together on topics such as intelligence and cyber security.
5) Invest in the UK
Point five, perhaps the least developed, revolves mainly around what the UK can do now to maximize the benefits of being a non-EU location. According to Starmer, Labor will use “green investment and a commitment to buy, manufacture and sell in the UK to ensure we are in the best position to compete globally”.
He also suggested that the party would adopt a new approach to business with “people, communities, rights and standards at its heart”, although it is unclear what this would mean in practice.
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6) No attempt to rejoin the single market or restore freedom of movement
Starmer’s plan has only five points, but almost the most important element of it is what he says he’s going to do. no Campaign for Britain to rejoin the single market or restore free movement.
As they say: “Britain will not return to the EU with Labour. We will not join the single market. We will not join any customs union. We will not return to free movement to create short-term reforms.”
Starmer spent much of the last parliamentary term lobbying Labor for the policy of a second referendum and said during his leadership campaign he would support free movement.
But now he believes there is little point in reviving the issue, and whatever the hopes of many members of the party are, as he says, “moving on”.