Keir Starmer discusses Brexit and a second referendum

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Conservative MPs have warned that moves by a “hardline pro EU group” raises serious questions about whether voters can trust Sir Keir Starmer’s pledge that his party would not try to reverse Brexit in Government. The Labour Movement for Europe (LME) which describes itself as “the pro-EU society affiliated to Labour” is currently running a campaign to ensure that candidates who would support rejoining at some stage are selected in target seats.

Among the potential candidates LME has endorsed is former Labour cabinet minister Douglas Alexander who is planning on running in East Lothian which Labour held until the 2019 election.

LME is chaired by Labour Stella Creasy who was a key figure in the campaign for a second referendum before the UK left the EU.

Last year she wrote for the New European arguing that LME should not focus on rejoining “at this time…not least because it is unclear why any of our European partners would expend the energy and effort required to negotiate after their experience of Brexit” but did not rule it out as a long term goal.”

Meanwhile, LME has focussed on ensuring Labour opposes the UK taking advantage of Brexit opportunities such as scrapping EU red tape.

And on its website, LME states: “Our membership of the European Union was a proven engine for progress and social justice for the people of the UK. The EU is a bulwark against regressive governments, and over-mighty corporations – yet also an imperfect institution for which further reform is always necessary and possible.”

The move by LME have led Conservative Brexiteer and Red Wall MPs to claim that entryists will ensure that a Labour Government will take Britain back into the EU.

Former Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “Entryism is not a new problem for the Labour Party. Once again extremists are taking it over to stop the leader’s policy. Sir Keir is not in charge the remainiacs are.”

Mark Francois, chairman of the powerful European Research Group (ERG) of Tory Brexiteer MPs, said: “The default setting of most Labour MPs is they are already Remainers at heart.

“I well remember Keith Starmer, calling for a second referendum in Parliament, night after night, because he couldn’t stand the result of the first one – and now Labour seem set to select a bunch of candidates who are even more ardent Remainers than him.

“Whether you are in the Red Wall, or the Blue Wall or just driven up the wall by them, you can’t trust Labour on Brexit!”

Curently, Labour is on course for a massive majority with a 21 point lead over the Conservatives in the last Techne UK tracker poll for Express.co.uk meaning that they would be free to push through what they want.

Even with a Tory comeback in the polls a Labour/ SNP rejoiner alliance could see the UK return to Brussels rule.

Stoke North Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis, where LME is trying to push forward one of its candidates to oppose him, said: “This proves what we have known about Labour and Sir Kier Starmer all along, they haven’t suddenly converted to be pro Brexit, instead they just want to try and find ways to rejoin via the backdoor. It’s just the same old remoaner Labour.”

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi said: “For all his parading as a hybrid Tory, Sir Keir Rodney Starmer will not cut through when people can see that all around him is the same old socialist-EU Rejoiner mob.

“The ‘Labour Movement for Europe’ is a self-declared socialist Rejoiner hardline movement who are now making sure that pro rejoin candidates are selected for the next election.

“Labour have no care about democracy, and like the SNP in Scotland they want to ignore the stated democratic will of the people.”

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Conservative Ashfield MP Lee Anderson, chairman of the Blue Collar Movement who left Labour over Brexit and other issues, added: “Labour tried this tactic last time in places like Ashfield, Mansfield and in many Red Wall areas and look what happened.

“Sir Kier might think he is clever pretending he now supports Brexit but I suspect he secretly supports the selection of pro-remain candidates who will stop at nothing to drag us back into the EU.”

Bassetlaw Conservative MP Brendan Clarke Smith said: “The hardline Rejoiner movement are clearly wasting no time in getting their people to infiltrate Labour’s candidates list, in very much the same way Momentum did in 2019. You can’t trust Labour to respect Brexit, which even most original remain supporters now accept and want to make a success of.”

In a speech last year, Sir Keir reset Labour policy on Brexit to not reverse it and instead have a five point plan to make it work.

He said: “Let me be very clear: with Labour, Britain will not go back into the EU. We will not be joining the single market. We will not be joining a customs union.

“The reason I say this is simple. Nothing about revisiting those rows will help stimulate growth or bring down food prices or help British business thrive in the modern world.”

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