Brexit supporters have often been ridiculed as paranoid for suggesting Sir Keir Starmer would manoeuvre Britain into rejoining the EU if he won power. Today, those concerns don’t seem so absurd.
A day after Labour’s leader – an irreconcilable Remainer – vowed he would rewrite the trade deal brokered by Boris Johnson, and as he met President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, plans aimed at drawing the UK back into Brussels’ orbit emerged.
With cynical timing, France and Germany proposed we become an ‘associate member’ of a new, expanded, four-tier Europe.
True, we would not be bound by ‘ever closer union’ to the sclerotic bloc. That, though, is where any good news ends.
To participate in the single market, we would have to pay billions, accept free movement and observe EU law.
As Keir Starmer met President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, plans aimed at drawing the UK back into Brussels’ orbit emerged
And we would be forced to align with Brussels’ rules (while having no say in making them), torpedoing our ability to strike better trade deals around the world.
This would be catnip to Sir Keir, who could sign up without a referendum. But it would be a disgraceful betrayal of the millions who voted to take back control. What part of Brexit doesn’t the EU understand? Why would we now rejoin by the back door?
Contrary to what embittered Remainers claim, Brexit has not been a disaster. Successes include trade agreements with fast-growing economies, delivering the quickest Covid vaccine and arming Ukraine.
But ministers must do more to seize the huge opportunities it offers – and prevent any danger of our departure being reversed.
Yes, Sir Keir insists he respects Brexit. But given all his previous flip-flops, this must be taken with a pinch of salt. If he becomes PM, he surely would have no qualms about surrendering our hard-won sovereignty.
Doctors play with fire
By spitefully striking together for the first time in NHS history, consultants and junior doctors finally prove they have lost sight of the defining virtues of their profession: Compassion, altruism, integrity.
This irresponsible abandonment of their duties has meant thousands more appointments and operations cancelled – prolonging patients’ suffering and, in tragic cases, hastening their deaths.
Yet far from being motivated by a noble cause, these walkouts are about nothing more elevated than naked self-interest.
Instead of accepting the reasonable pay rises on offer, the hard-Left BMA seeks to extract 35 per cent hikes, supposedly to reverse salary erosion since 2008. This is a preposterous demand and, with UK finances in disrepair, completely unaffordable.
These walkouts are about nothing more elevated than naked self-interest (File Photo: Junior doctors strike outside Downing Street in August)
The union could moderate its claim, but it’s obviously determined to harm the NHS to undermine a Tory government it loathes.
But Britain’s doctors need to know they are playing with fire. The Health Service has thrived on the respect and trust between doctors and their patients. Once lost these are not easily regained.
Let’s show intelligence
A surveillance state which spies on the rest of the word and launches aggressive cyber attacks, China undermines democratic governments at every turn.
So for the Foreign Secretary to invite Beijing to the Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit is depressing proof of how naive we remain to its threat. AI is an exciting tool with potential to do enormous good. But in the hands of a malign actor, it represents a terrifying danger to global security.
When will our leaders grasp China cannot be trusted? David Cameron and George Osborne sucking up to the regime, letting it embed apparatchiks in our universities and critical industries, was foolish enough.
Ministers ushering this dictatorship into the nest to discuss AI is just as witless – and proves we have learned no lessons.