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Keir Starmer is not being honest. It’s time to explain why we won’t be rejoining the EU

The Labour leader says Britain’s future is outside of Europe, but that’s not what his party believes, writes John Rentoul

Thursday 01 June 2023 10:20 BST
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<p>Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said his party would deliver on the promises of Brexit</p>

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said his party would deliver on the promises of Brexit

The Labour leader is shockingly blunt in an article written for a Eurosceptic newspaper today: “Britain’s future is outside the EU.” He hasn’t said it quite so categorically before. Previously, he tended to say that “there is no case for” rejoining the EU, which always allowed the possibility that there might be a case for it at a later date.

Now he has ruled it out indefinitely. Which will puzzle much of his party. As the British people continue to move ever more emphatically towards the view that the vote to leave the EU was a mistake, the Labour leader seems to be going in the opposite direction.

Many in the party will understand what he is up to, even if they do not like it much. The crude calculation is that Rejoiners have nowhere else to go at the election, whereas Leavers – especially those who voted Conservative for the first time in 2019 – could easily be persuaded to vote Tory again.

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