Inside Westminster

What should pro-Europeans do now? It is a difficult question – especially for Keir Starmer and Labour

The EU issue goes to the heart of Labour’s dilemma about its election pitch, writes Andrew Grice

Friday 30 April 2021 16:54
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<p>A sizeable chunk of Labour MPs want Keir Starmer to expose the holes in the Brexit trade deal</p>

A sizeable chunk of Labour MPs want Keir Starmer to expose the holes in the Brexit trade deal

W

hat should pro-Europeans do now? There are agonised debates among Remainers and I have been tuning in to them in recent months at online conferences and think tank events.

Some pro-EU figures want to abandon hopes of rejoining the EU and focus on making the UK’s new relationship with the bloc better and closer. But that is viewed as treacherous defeatism by ardent Europhiles in Labour and the Greens, while the Liberal Democrats at their spring conference pledged to campaign for the UK to rejoin the single market and customs union and build support for re-entry.

Many pro-Europeans are convinced the country will sooner or later realise it has made a catastrophic mistake over Brexit and seek to rejoin the EU club. I think they will be proved right about the economics but, sadly, I doubt that the British people will be clamouring to return.

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