Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer insisted his party could “make Brexit work” but demanded a better deal with Brussels as Vauxhall’s parent firm warned about the terms of the EU trade deal.
Sir Keir told the British Chambers of Commerce conference that “we need a closer trade relationship” with Brussels.
Vauxhall’s parent Stellantis has warned about the impact of new rules coming into force in 2024 relating to electric vehicles, requiring a greater proportion of their value to come from within the UK or EU to qualify for tariff-free treatment.
“Because there are jobs bound up, there are families watching this morning either employed by Vauxhall or a similar place who are deeply worried about what this means.
“So yes we need a better Brexit deal. We will make Brexit work. That doesn’t mean reversing the decision and going back into the EU but the deal we’ve got, it was said to be oven-ready, it wasn’t even half-baked.”
Sir Keir told the British Chambers of Commerce that “there’s no case for going back in” to the EU.
But he said the just-in-time model of manufacture had been “impeded” by trade friction.
“We need to clear that out, reduce those barriers.
“And we could do that without being in the single market or the customs union.”