Keir Starmer reveals work has already begun to unpick Brexit deal | Politics | News

Sir Keir Starmer has said work has already begun to “improve” the UK’s Brexit deal with the EU.

The Prime Minister said he wanted better trading and security relationships with Brussels as he vowed to rip up the “botched” deal struck by Boris Johnson.

Speaking to reporters in Edinburgh, Sir Keir said: “We intend to improve our relationship with the EU and that means closer trading ties with the EU, it means closer ties in relation to research and development and closer ties in relation to defence and security.

“Obviously, there are many discussions to be had and negotiations to be had.

“But I do think that we can get a much better deal than the botched deal that Boris Johnson saddled the UK with.”

Sir Keir added that it depends on “respectful relationships, talking to leaders across the EU and of course that work has already begun”.

The Labour leader, who backed Remain and a second referendum, has previously ruled out rejoining the single market and customs union, as well as a return to freedom of movement.

Foreign Secretary David Lammy has already travelled to Europe to meet counterparts in Germany, Poland and Sweden.

Writing in The Local Europe ahead of his trip over the weekend, Mr Lammy said: “As the new British Foreign Secretary, with our Prime Minister Keir Starmer, this Government will reset relations with Europe as a reliable partner, a dependable ally and a good neighbour.”

He went on: “If we are to fulfil our ambitions for a reset, we must also improve Britain’s relationship with the European Union.”

He said the Government’s proposal for an “ambitious and broad-ranging” UK-EU security pact would seek to “underpin closer co-operation between us”.

Mr Lammy added: “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.”

Irish premier Simon Harris yesterday said there was a “willingness” in the EU to talk to the new UK government.

The Taoiseach told Sky News: “I do absolutely think there would be a fair hearing for any proposal that the British government or indeed that the EU has about ironing out practical issues in terms of having a relationship that works.

Brexit has happened, the people of Britain have made that decision. But absolutely 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.”

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