Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, has come under fire after a video emerged of him stating that Labour "don't want to diverge" from European Union (EU) regulations. The footage, leaked to Sky News, was recorded at a left-wing conference in Canada earlier this month. In the video, Starmer suggests that while the UK would not formally rejoin the EU, its relationship with Brussels should be much closer. Critics argue that this statement reveals Starmer's true intentions to drag Britain back into the EU.
A Shift in Stance
The leaked footage shows Sir Keir Starmer expressing a desire for a close alignment with the EU and the avoidance of diverging from EU rules. He states, "Most of the conflict with the UK being outside of the UK [sic] arises in so far as the UK wants to diverge and do different things to the rest of our EU partners." The comments mark a significant departure from Starmer's previous public statements on EU relations.
Following the release of the video, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly criticized Starmer's shifting stance. Cleverly questioned Labour's position, stating, "Keir voted Remain. Then he backed a second referendum. Then he didn't. Now he wants to rejoin the EU in all but name. What does Labour stand for?" Former cabinet minister Simon Clarke echoed Cleverly's sentiments, emphasizing that Britain should not be a mere "rule-taker" and highlighting the importance of respecting the Brexit decision.
This latest controversy comes on the heels of another recent dispute involving Starmer and immigration policies. Last week, Starmer faced criticism for allegedly supporting a returns agreement with the EU that would allow illegal migrants who arrive in Europe to enter the UK. In response, a Labour spokesperson clarified the party's position, asserting that they will not join the single market or the customs union and will not be a "rule taker."
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