Thursday, July 25, 2024

Sir Keir Starmer says work has already begun to strike new deal with EU

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He said: “Over centuries, our individual and national stories have come together to tell a wider story of shared progress. Today, we all share a commitment to democracy, human rights and international law.

“Tragic experiences in our continent’s shared past have helped us to understand how our shared security and prosperity depend on these shared values. And I believe these values also offer a foundation for closer partnership in the future.

“My visit this weekend is just the beginning. I look forward to seeing Britain reconnect with our European neighbours in the years ahead.”

Simon Harris, the Irish premier, has said the EU wants to work more closely with Sir Keir Starmer on relations with the UK.

Willingness

Speaking to Sky News, the Taoiseach said that there would be a “willingness” in Europe to work with a Labour government to deliver veterinary agreements and “student mobility”.

He said: “Is there space to have a veterinary agreement, is there space in terms of student mobility, is there space to work closer together on issues? I think there absolutely is.

“And I do think there would be a willingness in Europe to have those conversations in due course, should that be the wish of the British government.”

Jonathan Reynolds, the Business Secretary, said that he welcomed the “constructive attitude” from other European countries.

He told Sky: “We’ve got the same standards as the European Union, if we can sell more whiskey, more salmon, to a market which is so significant to us, of course we should explore an opportunity like that.”

Put the Brexit years behind us

But he insisted that the Government was not “open” to the free movement of people, insisting that they would not be “revisiting” the issue.

Mr Lammy, who voted Remain and advocated for a second Brexit referendum, said ahead of his trip that it was time to “put the Brexit years behind us”.

In his article for The Local, he vowed to “reset relations with Europe as a reliable partner, a dependable ally and a good neighbour”.

“That is why I am travelling immediately to some of our key European partners. Sitting down with Germany’s Annalena Baerbock, Poland’s Radek Sikorski and Sweden’s Tobias Billström, my message will be simple: let us seize the opportunity for a reset, working even more closely together to tackle shared challenges,” he said.

The Foreign Secretary also said Labour will “champion” EU holidays and school exchanges, which critics argue have been hindered by Brexit.

He said: “We must do more to champion the ties between our people and our culture. Holidays, family ties, school and student exchanges, the arts, and sport (I was, of course, cheering on England in the Euros…). Thanks to this, our citizens benefit from the rich diversity of our continent.”

On his trip to Scotland, ahead of visits to Wales and Northern Ireland on Monday, Sir Keir also vowed to save hundreds of jobs at the nation’s last oil refinery, as he set Labour’s sights on defeating the SNP at the next Holyrood election.

The Prime Minister, who travelled to Edinburgh on Sunday for his first official engagement, said he was “very concerned” at the situation at the Grangemouth plant and revealed work had already begun on a rescue plan.

The operator of Grangemouth, Petroineos, has warned operations at the refinery could cease as early as next year, which would result in the loss of at least 400 jobs. The 215,000 barrel per day refinery, part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos empire, is seen as vital to UK infrastructure.

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