Starmer faces Brussels snub over ‘new’ Brexit deal
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s hopes of renegotiating Britain’s trade agreement with the EU have suffered a setback amid reports that Brussels is no mood for compromise.
Sir Keir, who is in Paris today to meet President Macron of France, has ruled out rejoining the EU single market or customs union but believes there is room to improve the Trade and Co-operation Agreement.
There are particular areas such as food safety, animal and plant regulations and border checks which are potential issues for review.
The Labour leader also wants to ease mobility restrictions and review the membership of the Erasmus programme which funds students to study in European countries.
But sources in Brussels say there is little hope of a “quick win” for Sir Keir following the bruising discussions over Brexit. Furthermore, any move to negotiate the deal would need the backing of both the European Commission and the 27 member states.
There is a view in Brussels that Britain has seen the error of its ways, but now wants the EU to bow down and allow it to regain what it has lost.
Sir Keir has come in for criticism from the SNP for backing Brexit and presenting Labour as a Tory-lite party.
However, Sir Keir knows that Brexit was a key factor in swinging traditional Labour supporters over to the Boris Johnson led Tories in 2019.
The Labour leader now believes Brexit is not the electorally toxic issue it was and could be a vote winner. Recent polling showed 53% favoured closer ties with the EU.