Sir Keir Starmer is seeking to head off a new party split over Brexit by arguing any EU-UK trade deal will present Britain with the opportunity to work with Brussels to implement higher standards on workers rights and the environment, a party document has revealed.
The Labour leader has insisted a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with EU is in the “national interest” but has found it difficult to convince Remainer MPs within his party. The shift in position for the opposition has unsettled a number of pro-EU MPs who are understood to be considering abstaining from any future Brexit vote in parliament. Meanwhile, other junior ministers are thought to be considering their position if they are whipped into backing so-called hard Brexit.
Starmer’s Damascene conversion to pragmatic leave supporter is fooling no-one
The Labour leadership is keen to outline a clear position on Europe after being deserted by Eurosceptic voters in “red wall” seats, which were lost to the Tories in last year’s general election. Voters who found Starmer’s Brexit policy and the insistence of a second referendum too much of insult on their democratic rights.
As Barry Gardiner tried to explain: “If you then say to people: ‘We did give you a vote here and we, the remainers, lost the vote, but because you were stupid enough to do what you wanted rather than what we wanted … we’ll give you another chance to get it right,’ that undermines the whole principle of democracy in this country.”
He went on: “You never give as much succour to the extreme right as when you cut off the mechanism of democratic change. “If people want to be able to achieve change through democratic means, if they feel that that is being denied to them, they then turn to other, more socially disruptive ways of expressing their views, and that is the danger here.” -Barry Gardiner
According to a Labour Party memo seen by the Financial Times, Sir Keir is planning on using a new “freedom” or evolution clause which is expected to form part of a Brexit trade deal in order to sway Labour MPs.
The so-called “ratchet clause” would ensure the UK is not automatically bound by one-sided EU rules and regulations.
Instead, it is understood Brexit negotiators are working on a deal where if one side plans to toughen its regulations, then it would require a discussion with the other side about moving forward.
It begs the question why as Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Sir Keir Starmer’s only contribution came in the form of his unobtainable six tests and a second referendum, both of which carried Labour down the path of election loss. This sort of compromise could have been made at any point more so during May’s tenure with so many Tory remainers willing to defy their own Party a motion to combine workers rights to a withdrawal agreement would have helped settle this a long time ago.
The Tories do not need Labours’ vote to get any deal through with their majority of 80 seats. Labour or at least the remain MPs within the Labour Party could abstain, after all, they must be used to that course of action by now! That would be the principled thing to do. Instead, Sir Keir Starmer wants to be able to turn round in a few years when a general election is looming and tell the people he and Labour voted to get Brexit done. Unfortunately for Starmer, it’s as true in life as it was on that epic TV series ‘A Game of Thrones’, “The North Remembers” and in four years time, it will remember his hand in pushing that vote losing second referendum onto the 52 leave voting seats the Labour party lost.
This is damage limitation, more so shows his lack of principles and courage of conviction.
Compromise by remainers has been lacking for four years
Owen Jones flip-flopped from Lexit to remainer to second referendum advocate then to blaming remainers for not compromising.
Like a broken clock he was right twice, first when he declared: “The more leftwing opponents of the EU come out, the more momentum will gather pace and gain critical mass. For those of us on the left who have always been critical of the EU, it has felt like a lonely crusade. But left support for withdrawal – “Lexit”, if you like – is not new. If anything, this new wave of left Euroscepticism represents a reawakening. Much of the left campaigned against entering the European Economic Community when Margaret Thatcher and the like campaigned for membership.
And secondly when he recently said: “The remain movement had succeeded in its aim – forcing the Labour party to accept its central demand – but at a huge cost to Corbyn: the leader was left looking like an unprincipled zigzagger, contributing to the collapse in his personal ratings. Labour lost the election partly because of the errors of its leaders; but those prominent remainers share a considerable amount of the blame.
We lost in 2016. We should have settled and fought for the closest possible relationship with the EU. But anything other than stopping Brexit was written off as both disastrous for the country and morally untenable. And so here we are, on the verge of the hardest possible Brexit, with all the terrible consequences that entails. A tragedy, and one that was avoidable.” -Owen Jones Guardian columnist.
The People’s Vote: A vehicle to remove Jeremy Corbyn.
At this point, it is obvious to the most harden Remainer that Sir Keir Starmer along with the Blairite led So-called People’s vote had one primary objective and that was to remove the very real threat to the establishment in or out of the EU, Jeremy Corbyn.
The Peter Mandelson, Blairite ‘People’s vote’ was the vehicle that carried Sir Keir Starmer to the Leadership. The Shadow Brexit secretary had insisted his vote losing second referendum policy be front and centre of the Labour manifesto. A policy that needed a degree in gobbledygook to explain.
Its pretence that offering a second referendum on the first was more democratic somehow, the suggestion it gave the people more democracy is so ironic coming from Sir Keir Starmer, a member of an elite group the Trilateral commission that believes the real crisis in democracy is there is too much democracy, Starmer’s elite group believe ‘we the people’ should be restricted in our participation in the democratic process, after all, like so many Remainers suggest Leave voters didn’t really know what they were voting for!
Now we are at the penultimate month before finally leaving the EU. The last weekend to reach a Trade deal that benefits as many of the FTSE 100 or at least the 80 percent of them that backed Remain, Sir Kier Starmer is demanding the Labour MP’s that fought so hard to overturn the referendum and remain in the EU vote to back any Tory deal presented to parliament. How the remainers must feel so let down but more so how left-wingers feel so betrayed, this man lost Labour the 2019 general election not because he was a die-hard remainer but because he realised it was the chink in Corbyn’s armour and a clear road to the Labour leadership position. Our loss Starmer’s gain.
Is a Trade deal possible?
The UK, led by its chief negotiator, David Frost, has insisted its sovereign rights over its waters must be respected from day one and its fleets must be able to keep a much larger share of their own catch.
The EU is insisting on a much longer transition period, with guarantees on access and how catches are distributed.
The two sides are reported to have made progress in recent days on the issues of fair competition and what to do if the UK is deemed to get an unfair competitive advantage by moving away from EU rules and standards.
If a deal is reached between the two sides, it would need to be agreed by parliaments in the UK and the European Union’s member states.
UK MPs have now finished for the Christmas break, but Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said on Thursday that they could be called back to ratify a deal in the coming days, were one to be agreed.