Shadow Brexit Secretary @Keir_Starmer: We’ve been absolutely clear what the combination needs to be… we need to make sure it’s the combination customs union and single market #Marr pic.twitter.com/PfMRGYHrcS
— BrexitCentral (@BrexitCentral) May 13, 2018
Back in March, Guido revealed the existence of a draft press release that showed Keir Starmer was working with Brussels to change Labour’s policy to staying in a customs union. It would now appear that he is doing the same on the single market. On Marr yesterday, Starmer called for us to have the exact same benefits of single market membership. He said: “We’ve been absolutely clear what the combination needs to be… we need to make sure it’s the combination, customs union and single market”. Today, he is in Brussels to talk to the EU about “retaining benefits of single market“.
Just arrived in Brussels for full day of Brexit discussions tomorrow with senior politicians across EU27. Much to discuss including importance of retaining benefits of single market & customs union.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) May 13, 2018
It would appear that, as he did with a customs union, Starmer is attempting to shift Labour’s policy towards single market membership.
It is inconceivable that this is not being coordinated with other Remainers. In the pro-Remain Mail on Sunday yesterday, David Miliband, Nicky Morgan and Nick Clegg called for ‘hard Brexit’ to be prevented. (Remainers, ever trying to move the dial back, are now defining ‘hard Brexit’ as leaving the single market.) On the Today programme this morning, Miliband explicitly called for us to retain single market membership. Norway has this morning u-turned on its reticence to the UK joining the EEA. Anna Soubry has a letter in today’s Times calling for the “softest of Brexit landings”. This all the week after the Lords voted to stay in the single market.
Remainers pushing for “the exact same benefits” of single market membership are being deeply dishonest. It would mean accepting free movement. It would mean being a rule-taker. It would mean ECJ oversight. It would mean paying vast sums to Brussels forever. It would not mean taking back control. Miliband, Morgan, Clegg and Soubry should be honest enough to admit that they are trying to defy the referendum result. Starmer needs to come clean: his call to keep the exact same benefits of the single market is no different…