Labour leader wants deeper cooperation with EU

British opposition leader Keir Starmer has said he will seek to renegotiate the Brexit trade agreement between London and Brussels in the event of a Labour election victory. Starmer said he wants to secure a better deal. During visits to The Hague and Paris he also expressed openness to new deals with the EU on migration policy. A sensible initiative or delusional?

The Guardian (GB) /

Reverting to a customs union would be worth it

The Guardian advocates the UK taking a big step towards the EU:

“The reopening of barrier-free trade with Europe must involve dismantling an already towering border bureaucracy. It cannot be relegated to hundreds of micro-deals taking years to arrange. Rejoining the customs union should be straightforward. ...This is no place for airy abstractions over sovereignty. All commerce between nations is a trade-off between sovereignty and prosperity. Reverting to soft Brexit will involve pain and compromise, but can only be worth it.”

Simon Jenkins
The Irish Times (IE) /

A wise change of course

Starmer’s desire for greater cooperation with the EU will meet with resistance, The Irish Times predicts:

“He got a taste of what is in store when right-wing media accused him of selling out on migration in the Hague last week. He can expect more of the same as the election draws nearer. But he must surely realise that, after decades of moving away from Europe, the time has come for a UK government to change the direction of travel. His country’s true national interest requires him to start the slow and painful process of rebuilding ties and trust between his country and the EU. The unfortunate reality is that process will likely take not years, but decades.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Just a fantasy

The Daily Telegraph is unimpressed:

“If Sir Keir thinks he can secure a new deal with Brussels without giving up a great deal in return then he is in danger of looking naive. ... To believe they will make concessions purely because they are so pleased to see Labour back in power is a fantasy. ... To get anything, Sir Keir would have to agree to let Brussels back into national decision-making, only without Britain at the table. He has hinted as much by suggesting he could sign up to a pan-European migration arrangement under which the UK would take a quota decided by the EU. ... If Sir Keir goes down this road, he might find the electoral optics back home looking distinctly murky.”