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‘We’re not going back’: Keir Starmer insists ‘there is no case’ for undoing Brexit

Sir Keir Starmer.

Sir Keir Starmer has insisted he wants to “make Brexit work” if he becomes prime minister, suggesting there could be no way back to the UK being an EU member under his leadership.

Sir Keir said there is “no case” for rejoining the trading block and promised not to undo the 2016 referendum result if he wins the next election.

But he sparked fury among SNP rivals who claimed independence “is the only way for Scotland to regain our place in Europe”.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Labour has “abandoned Scotland” and chosen to side with the Tories instead.

Ian Blackford.

Sir Keir served as shadow Brexit secretary under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

And Starmer was seen as one of the party’s strongest pro-European voices and supported a referendum between a Brexit deal and remaining in the EU before the 2019 election.

But since becoming leader, after Labour were defeated by Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, he has insisted Brexit must go ahead.

He also previously vowed against joining any election pact with the SNP to oust the Tories from power at Westminster.

‘No case for rejoining’

Sir Keir told BBC Newcastle: “We have exited the EU and we’re not going back, and let me be very clear in the north-east about that. There’s no case for rejoining.

“What I want to see now is not just Brexit done in the sense that we’re technically out of the EU, I want to make it work.

“I want to make sure that we take advantage of the opportunities and that we have a clear plan for Brexit.”

More than 60% of Scots backed staying in the EU in 2016 despite the majority of the UK opting for Brexit.

Abandoning Scotland

Ian Blackford said: “It’s now beyond doubt that independence is the only way for Scotland to regain our place in Europe – there is no way back under Westminster control.

“Brexit was imposed against Scotland’s will. In a shoddy attempt to win back votes in England, Starmer’s Labour Party has completely abandoned Scotland.

“The confirmation that Labour has joined the Tories on Brexit, makes it all the more essential that people in Scotland have the choice to determine our own future in an independence referendum.”

The SNP accused the Tories of a “power-grab” as they published their Brexit Freedoms Bill last month.

Ex-Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: “It’s strange to hear the Labour Party banging on about Brexit benefits when every business who trades with the continent is suffocating under mountains of red tape.

“Brexit means Scottish shellfish stuck in queues in Kent and hospitals and farms struggling for staff.

“Meanwhile in Northern Ireland it has caused political gridlock. None of that sounds like a benefit to me.”

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