- The party proposes a transitional period after Britain leaves EU in March 2019
- Keir Starmer, shadow Brexit secretary, called for Britain to remain in the single market and customs union for several years
- The party said it is offering a clear alternative to Conservative Brexit plans
- It would leave open the option of remaining in the single market for good
The Labour Party now hopes to keep Britain in the European Union’s single market and customs union for several years as part of a soft Brexit, it has been announced.
Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has said the party intends to maintain membership of the single market beyond March 2019.
The party says it offers a clear alternative to the Conservative Brexit plans.
Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has said Labour is flexible about remaining in the customs union after March 2019
Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Starmer said: ‘We will always put jobs and the economy first.
‘That means remaining in a form of customs union with the EU is a possible end destination for Labour, but that must be subject to negotiations.
‘It also means that Labour is flexible as to whether the benefits of the single market are best retained by negotiating a new single market relationship or by working up from a bespoke trade deal.’
Following his comments, a Labour Party spokesman told Reuters that Jeremy Corbyn’s team proposed to continue the same ‘basic terms’ of Britain’s relationship with Europe during a transition period.
Mr Corbyn’s party would also ‘leave open the option of the UK remaining a member of the customs union and single market for good
Britain’s economy suffered weakness on all fronts in the three months to June, with shoppers pinched by the pound’s weakness on foreign exchange markets, exports failing to fill the gap, and business investment frozen by Brexit uncertainty, data showed.
Mr Corbyn’s party would also ‘leave open the option of the UK remaining a member of the customs union and single market for good, beyond the end of the transitional period’, the paper said, but only if Labour could by then have persuaded the rest of the EU to agree to a special deal on immigration and changes to freedom of movement rules.
Theresa May’s attempts to settle on a position and start negotiating Brexit have been hampered by infighting in her own party following a botched early general election in June in which she lost her parliamentary majority.
Her position has been weakened and many believe she is unlikely to see out a full parliamentary term, although it is unclear who might replace her.