DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Shifty Sir Keir would betray Brexit in a flash
Like some absurd lothario furtively fumbling with an old flame, Sir Keir Starmer has been well and truly caught with his pants down.
Ever since becoming Labour leader in the wake of Brexit, he has tried to convince Leave voters – the key to him winning the next election – that he is a reformed sinner.
He desperately wants them to forget that as an obsessive Remainer, he was so enraged by the public’s decision to leave the EU that he fought tooth-and-nail to thwart it.
Now he’s at pains to stress that he ‘fully accepts’ the 2016 referendum result, there is ‘no case’ for rejoining the bloc and, if prime minister, he would not join the single market or customs union. He only wants to improve Boris Johnson’s deal, he insists.
But all snakes have forked tongues. While thousands of miles away in Canada, Sir Keir let slip the truth. Addressing a cosy love-in of the liberal-Left, he admitted he does not want Britain to ‘diverge’ from EU rules.
While thousands of miles away in Canada, Sir Keir Starmer (right; with Norway’s PM Jonas Gahr) let slip the truth. Addressing a cosy love-in of the liberal-Left, he admitted he does not want Britain to ‘diverge’ from EU rules
But isn’t that the whole point of Brexit? For maximum prosperity, we need to be dynamic, nimble and free – not subserviently following suffocating diktats from a sclerotic, protectionist bloc.
It was deeply unedifying for shifty Sir Keir to whine that he had been misunderstood. Does he think we’re stupid?
The Labour leader makes no bones about wanting migration deals with Brussels, plus a closer union in many areas.
With every fibre of his being, this North London lawyer yearns to finagle us back into his beloved EU’s embrace. If he got a chance, he’d betray Brexit in a heartbeat.
Depressingly, Rishi Sunak – a staunch Leave advocate – must take some blame for this predicament. The Government’s timidity in championing the opportunities and successes of Brexit has let Remainers peddle a false narrative that it has been an unmitigated disaster. This is emphatically not the case, but unless immediately and vigorously challenged, mud sticks.
Freed from Brussels meddling, it is in the PM’s gift to remove impediments such as high taxes and red tape to give UK business the springboard it needs to grow. He must strain every sinew to make it happen.
But let’s not be too harsh. For this week has been perhaps one of the best of Mr Sunak’s premiership. His pragmatic decision to roll back or scrap exorbitant net-zero measures may have sent Labour, eco zealots and the chattering classes apoplectic, but it has been widely applauded by ordinary people.
Meanwhile, falling inflation and the Bank of England pressing pause on interest rate rises will ease the burden on hard-pressed homeowners and businesses.
To maintain momentum – and keep Sir Keir on the back foot – the PM should take a tough, but sensible approach to tackling illegal migration, wokery and the pernicious influence of trans extremism in schools.
Of course, Labour’s leader is hot favourite to win the next election. But if this is the week the tide turns, Mr Sunak may yet pull off the greatest comeback since Lazarus.
Cost of Left’s silly stunt
If Labour wins, it will hand more powers to the Office for Budget Responsibility – letting it publish forecasts alongside any spending changes (Keir Starmer right; shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves left)
Labour is trying to reassure voters that it can be trusted with the nation’s finances but its latest economic announcement is as much puerile stunt as sensible policy.
If the party wins, it will hand more powers to the Office for Budget Responsibility – letting it publish forecasts alongside any spending changes. But is this wise?
Since being set up by George Osborne (who else?) in 2010, the unelected watchdog – dominated by the liberal-Left – has been part of the dismal economic orthodoxy that has overseen pitiful growth.
Its forecasts have invariably been wrong and on its watch debts levels have surged, the size of the state has ballooned, and taxes are eye-wateringly high.
So much for the Office for Budget Responsibility. The Office for Budget Irresponsibility, more like.
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