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How Keir Starmer hopes to ‘make Brexit work’

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theguardian.com

Keir Starmer is using a speech on Monday to set out Labour’s five-point plan to “make Brexit work” – a slogan he first used in his party conference speech last year.Labour’s approach is to seek to de-dramatise the issue, by focusing on practicalities, instead of reopening old political wounds:Boris Johnson’s government is on the warpath with the EU over the protocol, with controversial legislation making its way through the House of Commons that would disapply aspects of the deal the government signed in 2019.Labour says there is a “landing zone” in negotiations between the two sides, however, which would include seeking a veterinary agreement to cover agricultural goods, allowing many of the cumbersome checks to be lifted.For other goods, Labour says it would work with businesses in Northern Ireland to put in place a trusted trader scheme to reduce the proportion of exports that need to be subject to checks.Labour would seek to extend the new veterinary agreement UK-wide, so that as well as products from Great Britain being sold into Northern Ireland, exports to the EU could also potentially face fewer checks.It would also seek to negotiate “mutual recognition of conformity assessments,” across some sectors – so that companies would only have to face one set of tests to show they meet required standards in the UK and the EU.Labour hopes this is negotiable because, Starmer says, his government has no intention of cutting standards – though it is unclear whether the EU would be convinced.

Theresa May sought a similar outcome, but she was willing to sign up to EU regulations for key goods as a quid quo pro.Labour would also seek new flexibility for people wanting to work in the EU in the short-term, such as musicians on

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