Will not support Britain’s withdrawal from the EU! Labour is being chastised for clinging to the EU while ignoring the UK’s potential.
Greg Hands, the trade minister, ripped at Labour last night for clinging to Brussels rather than embracing the benefits of Brexit.
The party refuses to “believe in Britain’s potential” to set out as an independent trade nation, and it is ignoring the tremendous opportunities that Brexit has brought to the world. After Emily Thornberry questioned if it makes “any sense” to devote “all this energy” into securing international deals, Mr Hands spoke up. The shadow international trade minister stated that five years after the British people told the government to leave the EU, the bloc would still be Labour’s top trade priority in government.
Despite Sir Keir Starmer’s claim that Labour has embraced Brexit and moved on, Mr Hands claimed that the party’s “leadership team continues to fixate on old differences.”
“It defies belief that Labour’s trade head thinks we should focus on the EU – with whom we already have a trade deal – rather than wasting energy on trade arrangements with the rest of the world,” he continued.
“It demonstrates that, even now, Starmer’s Labour Party refuses to believe in Britain’s ability to develop new trade and jobs with our allies around the world, preferring instead to focus solely on trade with the EU.”
Last Christmas Eve, the government reached a trade agreement with the EU.
Ms Thornberry, one of Labour’s most fervent Remain supporters, said her “first priority” was “fixing the major trade deal with the European Union.”
“I believe that in terms of trade deal priority, I would begin by attempting to fix the trade deal that we currently have with the European Union,” she continued.
“I believe that should be our top focus, rather than wasting time pursuing minor trade agreements that make little difference.”
Ms Thornberry said at an event at the Institute for Government that the focus would be on the EU rather than other trade agreements, such as joining the £9 trillion Pacific Free Trade Agreement.
Australia, Canada, and Japan are among the 11 nations that make up the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
“Does it make any sense to put all this energy into, say, UK membership in the CPTPP, and so little attention into, say, mending the gaps in our arrangement with Europe?” Ms Thornberry asked.
In recent weeks, the Department of International Trade (DIT) was established. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”