SNP accuse Labour of going 'along with madness' as Sir Keir Starmer says Brexit arguments 'in the past'

The Labour leader claimed Britain had failed to take advantage of Brexit.

The SNP have accused Labour of going “along with madness” after Sir Keir Starmer claimed any debate about Brexit was “in the past”.

Ruling out a return to the single market, customs union or freedom of movement, the Labour leader accused the UK government of “pretending everything is working fine”, but not delivering on Britain’s exit.

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Writing in The Express, Sir Keir said: “Britain’s future is outside the EU. Not in the single market, not in the customs union, not with a return to freedom of movement. Those arguments are in the past, where they belong.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has been accused of doubling down on his Brexit stance.Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has been accused of doubling down on his Brexit stance.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has been accused of doubling down on his Brexit stance.

“But they also expect politicians to be honest.

“There is no point pretending everything is working fine. The paper-thin Tory deal has stifled Britain’s potential and hugely weighted trade terms towards the EU. Every day it isn’t built upon, our European friends and competitors aren’t just eating our lunch – they’re nicking our dinner money as well.”

Now the SNP, who have repeatedly compared Labour’s stance to the Tories, have accused Sir Keir of doubling down.

The party’s Europe and EU Accession spokesperson Alyn Smith said: “Labour and the Tories are now indistinguishable on Brexit – both deep in denial while the economy takes a hammering from this failed project.

“How Keir Starmer can look at the mess of Brexit and decide to just go along with it is madness, and shows what depths the Labour party will sink to in their attempt to get the keys to 10 Downing Street.

“There is no way to make Brexit work for Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to remain and yet have been made to suffer its consequences all the same. Ordinary people are seeing their food prices rise astronomically because of Brexit. They should not be made to bear the brunt of this calamitous Brexit."

Sir Keir’s comments were also criticised by the Tories, who suggested the Labour leader didn’t back Brexit at all.

Conservative MP Paul Bristow said: “Trusting Sir Keir with Brexit is like trusting Dracula at the blood bank. Sir Keir is probably the most pro EU MP in the UK. He will align us with EU rules and take us back in by stealth. You can’t believe a word he says.”

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Shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray dismissed the criticism, accusing the SNP of being “cheerleaders” for a Tory Government.

He said: “Only Labour can fix the disastrous mess the Tories have made of Brexit and build a stronger trading relationship with Europe while repairing our tattered international reputation.

“While the SNP cheerlead for a Tory government, Labour are determined to win the next election to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and put Scotland at the heart of the fastest growing economy in the G7.

“At the next election we will be focused on booting the Tories out of Downing Street and delivering the change our country desperately needs.”

Sir Keir ran on a Labour manifesto in 2019 promising to restore freedom of movement after Brexit. It formed one of his ten pledges when he stood for leader. This, along with support for the customs union, has now been dropped by him and the party.



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