• Brexit spokesman Sir Keir Starmer will pledge today to stay in the single market 
  • He wants to swap Theresa May’s strategy for weaker negotiating priorities
  • Existing rights for EU nationals in Britain would be ensured ‘from day one’ 

Daniel Martin Policy Editor For The Daily Mail

Labour will today pledge to tear up Theresa May’s ‘reckless’ Brexit strategy and rule out leaving the EU without a deal.

Sir Keir Starmer will say his priority will be to retain the benefits of the single market and the customs union – opening the way to continued immigration.

In a major speech, Labour’s Brexit spokesman will promise to scrap the white paper that the Prime Minister unveiled in February, replacing it with a weaker set of negotiating priorities.

He will rule out walking away without a deal – potentially handing all the negotiating power to Brussels.

Sir Keir Starmer will say in a major speech tomorrow that his priority will be to retain the benefits of the single market and the customs union ¿ opening the way to continued immigration

Sir Keir Starmer will say in a major speech tomorrow that his priority will be to retain the benefits of the single market and the customs union ¿ opening the way to continued immigration

Sir Keir Starmer will say in a major speech tomorrow that his priority will be to retain the benefits of the single market and the customs union – opening the way to continued immigration

Sir Keir will promise to retain hundreds of EU directives even after we leave the bloc, saying they are essential to preserve workers’ rights and the environment.

And he will say that ‘on day one’, a Labour government would unilaterally guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals in Britain – before Brussels does the same for UK nationals on the continent.

Tory MPs said Labour was rejecting its own voters and seeking to overturn the referendum result.

The soft Brexit position will be seen as an attempt to win pro-Remain voters from the Liberal Democrats.

There is no mention in the speech extracts of free movement, raising the prospect that Labour would submit to high immigration levels in return for single market access.

Speaking yesterday in Scotland, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the Conservatives of ‘trying to use Brexit to turn Britain into a low-wage tax haven run in the interests of the powerful’.

He insisted: ‘Labour will negotiate a Brexit that will build on the gains won for workers, consumers and the environment in the European Union. We will put jobs, living standards and human rights first.’

In his speech, Sir Keir will say he would negotiate with Brussels to avoid a cliff-edge for the economy and would not accept ‘no deal’ as a viable option.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused the Conservatives of ¿trying to use Brexit to turn Britain into a low-wage tax haven run in the interests of the powerful¿

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused the Conservatives of ¿trying to use Brexit to turn Britain into a low-wage tax haven run in the interests of the powerful¿

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused the Conservatives of ‘trying to use Brexit to turn Britain into a low-wage tax haven run in the interests of the powerful’

‘A Labour government will set out a new Brexit strategy,’ he will say. ‘We will scrap the Government’s Brexit white paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that reflect Labour values and our six tests.

The white paper will have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the single market and the customs union as Labour know that is vital to protecting jobs.’

Sir Keir will commit Labour to negotiating ‘for the many, not the few’.

‘Where Theresa May wants to shut down scrutiny and challenge, Labour will welcome it,’ he will say. ‘We will work with parliament, not against it.

‘Because on an issue of this importance the Government can’t hide from the public or parliament. A Labour approach to Brexit means legislating to guarantee that parliament has a truly meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal.’

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘Labour are not the party of business, so it is not surprising they do not know that without a “walk-away” position you will never get a deal done.’

Fellow Tory Philip Davies said: ‘Labour clearly has no idea about how to negotiate.’

‘Dangerous chaos’ over defence 

Labour was in turmoil on defence last night as Jeremy Corbyn was contradicted by his own shadow defence secretary and election chief.

The Labour leader had suggested he could scrap Trident after he ruled out ever using nuclear weapons to protect the country.

But yesterday Nia Griffith, the party’s shadow defence secretary, said she was ready to press the nuclear button.

‘It absolutely will be in the manifesto because it’s firmly our policy and that’s been reaffirmed time after time,’ she told BBC Two’s Daily Politics. She said the option of force and the ‘ultimate deterrent’ meant ‘you are far more likely to actually sustain peace and security’.

Labour’s campaign chairman Andrew Gwynne also said Trident would be supported in the manifesto. ‘We are committed to renewing the Trident system,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon attacked Mr Corbyn for questioning Labour’s commitment to the nuclear deterrent and for suggesting reluctance to authorise a drone strike on the leader of the Islamic State terror group.

Mr Fallon told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘I think you saw Jeremy Corbyn yesterday questioning strikes against terrorists, refusing to back the nuclear deterrent. He’s been querying our Nato deployment and he seems to have fallen out with his own party over the nuclear deterrent. That’s chaos, but it’s very dangerous chaos that would put the security of our country at risk.’

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron is to announce this morning that his party now backs the nuclear deterrent – after voting against its renewal last year.

 

 

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