Thursday, December 2, 2021

Keir Starmer outlines Labor’s alternative Brexit plan to a muted reaction from business leaders

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The Labor leader hit Boris Johnson several times during the speech, which resulted in no audience reaction

At the annual CBI conference in Birmingham, the opposition leader reiterated the message he gave at the Labor Party conference in September, saying: “Labor is back in business.”

Sir Keir Starmer called Labor a friend of business when he outlined the party’s new Brexit plan.

Sir Keir also said he wanted a new “contract” between his party and his company.

He tried to blame Brexit for the problems facing the economy and the economy, and accused the government, which has repeatedly vowed to get it done, “absolutely no plan to make Brexit work”.

However, Sir Keir said Labor would honor Britain’s commitment to leave the EU.

“Labor is not planning a rematch,” he said. “Brexit happened and we will not join again. But it is obvious that a badly thought out Brexit will hold Britain back. “

The Labor leader then set out what the party would do to find a better solution to the current disputes over the post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.

He said his party would negotiate a new veterinary deal for trade in agricultural products with the EU.

Such a move would have two advantages, he said. It would help solve the problems of the Northern Ireland Protocol and it would reduce red tape for British exporters.

He also said Labor would reduce the certification processes of goods, seek regulatory equivalence for financial services and mutual recognition of professional qualifications, maintain UK data adequacy status and seek a better long term deal for UK freight forwarders to alleviate supply chain problems.

“This is a plan that follows exactly what many of you have told me it is needed,” the Labor chief told CBI. “I believe all of this can be achieved by vigorously defending our interests but negotiating patiently.”

In an attempt to ridicule the Prime Minister, Sir Keir said the government lacked leadership, which he believed was causing the stalled Brexit negotiations.

“There’s one more element, leadership,” he said. “Trust counts in international negotiations. But this prime minister lacks that ingredient.

“What we get instead is a series of pantomime disputes which are not good for the UK economy or the UK public and which are of no help at all in tackling the task of reshaping Britain.”

His blow on Mr. Johnson fell flat on the audience with no audible laughter or applause.

At the beginning of the speech, Sir Keir tried again to anger the audience by stabbing Tory MP Sir Geoffrey Cox, who has come under fire for his lucrative income outside Parliament in recent weeks.

Discussing the “known and persistent problem” of productivity in the UK, the Labor leader said, “The government has its own answer to the productivity problem … it’s called Geoffrey Cox.”

But the remark did not spark any reaction from business leaders, prompting Sir Keir to continue his speech.

During the speech, Sir Keir said he would make it his “mission” to improve the skills of young people entering the workplace.

He said he is appointing a new council of skills advisors, including former Education Minister Lord Blunkett, as raising skill levels is key to improving economic performance.

“I’ve long believed that we don’t value professional and technical skills enough,” he said.

“My advice will ensure that young people are familiar with the technology of the day. So we’d add digital skills to the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

“Better skills are essential if we are to improve productivity and economic growth.

“Therefore, my mission as Labor Party leader will be to prepare the next generation for work. Skills policy is the first line in the first chapter of the Labor Plan for Good Business. “

He said a Labor government would ensure 100,000 new businesses a year by boosting the start-up loan program.

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