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    Labour wants to keep the UK in the single market temporarily


    Labour, the British opposition party, wants to keep Great Britain in the European single market during a transition period after Brexit should they come to power. This was announced by Keir Starmer, the Brexit official for Labour.

    “Labour would go for a transition agreement that would ensure we keep the same basic conditions we get within the EU”, Keir Starmer said in a tribune published in The Observer.

    “This means we would try to remain part of the European customs union and the single market during this period”. “We would respect the rules for both institutions”, he added. To achieve this, free movement of goods and workers would have to continue during this transition period.

    Mr Starmer said entrance restrictions for immigration “would be dealt with in the final agreement”.  He did say it was a central issue for the referendum on the 23rd June 2016. He also hinted that Labour would try to negotiate remaining in the customs union after this transition period.

    “We will always put employment and the economy first, so remaining in a customs union of some form with the EU is a possibility Labour is considering. However, there would have to be negotiations”, he wrote. With their more Euro-friendly stance, Labour is very different from the current Conservative government, which has rejected the idea of remaining in the single market during a transition period after Brexit.

    Up until now, the Labour party had responded to the question of remaining in the single market and a customs union in a rather ambiguous and vague way. They had only said they wanted a Brexit that would protect jobs.    

    Sarah Johansson (Source: Belga)