Great Britain

Brexit LIVE: Keir Starmer urged to back Labour campaign for UK to rejoin EU

Brexit: Ireland 'wants to punish the UK' says Hoey

Under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, former Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir campaigned for a second referendum on the UK's membership of the EU in what was seen by many as a desperate attempt to overturn the 2016 Brexit referendum result. But those hopes were destroyed after Mr Corbyn led Labour to a humiliating defeat in the general election in December 2019, handing the Prime Minister and his Conservative Party a huge 80-seat majority in the House of Commons that saw the Brexit deal sail thourgh Parliament.

Sir Keir replaced Mr Corbyn as Labour leader just a few moinths later but has largely remained silent on Brexit, seemingly now finally accepting the end result from five years ago. ​

In his latest column Wlliam Keegan, The Observer's senior economics commentator, made reference to the death of his colleague Dick Leonard, whose widow Irène Heidelberger-Leonard said at his funeral last week - attended by Sir Keir: "He did not want to die until Brexit was reversed.”

He continued: "As that astute observer Denis MacShane – a former Labour minister for Europe – recently pointed out, “Johnson needs a permanent war with the EU to prove that the Battle of Brexit is not over”.

"This in the name of a country that went to war in 1939 to save Europe, and whose prime minister, Winston Churchill, even proposed, in 1940, what would have in effect been a political union of the UK and France.

brexit boris johnson keir starmer

Brexit LIVE: Sir Keir Starmer has been urged to back a Labour campaign for the UK to rejoin the EU (Image: GETTY)

"Above all, says MacShane – who probably coined the term Brexit and certainly forecast the result of the referendum – Johnson 'wants the main opposition, Labour, to say nothing about Brexit'.

"But the time has assuredly come, and those words of our friend Dick Leonard’s widow – 'he did not want to die until Brexit was reversed' – will, I hope, stiffen Starmer’s resolve."

One wrote: "But Starmer won't do it because he has delusions still that Labour can win a General election outright, without forming alliances."

brexit uk lord frost

Brexit LIVE: The UK's Brexit minister Lord Frost is leading talks with the EU (Image: GETTY)

Another commented: "@Keir_Starmer has improved of late, which is welcome, but he is still almost completely silent on the unfolding #Brexit catastrophe.

"A foolish thing to do, especially given the overwhelming support for the EU among @UKLabour ​members & voters. He needs to change tack, and quick.

But one person wrote: "Yes, please. It's the only pragmatic, responsible response. @Keir_Starmer we need something concrete and life-affirming to vote FOR in 2024.

"Voting against something is bleak. You can do it. Give us something to believe in, please."


Brexit news

A timeline of key Brexit dates (Image: EXPRESS)

12.07am update: EU RED TAPE: One M&S sandwich needs 3 different vet docs and manifest for every ingredient

RED TAPE-obsessed EU officials are demanding that a sandwich has three different vet documents to cross the border into the UK.

Under its farcical rules, every single ingredient in a food product must be written on a manifest.

In total the bloc has 15 types of EU health certificates which can slow down the importation of perishable products considerably, importers have warned.

And while professing to be pro-business, the bloc still employs a paper system that slows down any attempts to correct it.

M&S chairman Archie Norman revealed the needless bureaucracy as he claimed that the EU could “100 percent” make the system more manageable.

8.30pm update: GB News sparks Remainer revolt as Arlene Foster joins channel - 'Fit in well with Farage'

GB News has sparked a furious Remainer backlash after it was announced former DUP leader Arlene Foster is joining the recently-launched channel.

She has joined GB News, fronted by veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil, as a contributor.

The role will be her first since stepping down as Northern Ireland First Minister last month after five-and-a-half years in the position.

Mrs Foster was unveiled in her new role on the Political Correction show on Sunday, which is presented by eurosceptic and former MEP Nigel Farage.

But her appointment has sparked a furious backlash from Remainers on Twitter amid the ongoing row over a United Ireland.

brexit gb news arlene foster

Brexit LIVE: Arlene Foster has joined GB News as a contributor (Image: GB NEWS)

7pm update: Cummings defends Brexit, claims Turkey IS joining EU and Remain used invented figures

Dominic Cummings appears to have defended Brexit, claimed Turkey has been in the "process of joining the EU for decades" and hit out at Remainers for using "invented figures" during the referendum.

The former campaign director for Vote Leave said it was clear anti-Brexit campaigners had tried to hide Ankara's desire to join the group of European nations in the run-up to the EU referendum.

The possibility stoked fears among the British public as they prepared to cast their votes, with many fearing a huge influx of immigrants if Turkey was admitted to the bloc.

In his latest blogpost, Mr Cummings wrote: "Fact: Turkey has been in the process of joining for decades.

"It was official government policy for Turkey and other countries to join ASAP.

"'Pave the road from Ankara to London,' said Cameron."

5.20pm update: 'Take the nuclear option!' Boris urged to tear up Brexit deal as EU tensions rise

Boris Johnson has been told to "take the nuclear option" by triggering Article 16 if the European Union refuses the UK's demand over renegotiating the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Prime Minister was poised to overhaul the post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland last week but was convinced otherwise by his Brexit minister Lord Frost, according to The Telegraph.

But the warning to deploy the so-called "nuclear option" was reportedly still issued to Ireland and UK officials are understood to have made clear it is the Prime Minister - and not Lord Frost - who is in fact most in favour of triggering Article 16.

Earlier this week, Lord Frost warned the UK believes the conditions for triggering Article 16 had now been met and the Protocol in its current form is no longer a viable solution, but instead called for the mechanism to be rewritten.

However, Mr Johnson has been backed by an overwhelming majority in a new poll to go ahead and trigger Article 16.

brexit boris johnson northern ireland protocol

Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson has been backed to trigger Article 16 and tear up the deal with the EU (Image: GETTY)

4.20pm update: Former DUP leader Arlene Foster joins GB News 

Arlene Foster has joined the news channel as a contributor, in her first role since stepping down as Northern Ireland First Minister.

She was unveiled in her role on the Political Correction show, presented by Nigel Farage.

Asked why she is joining GB News, Mrs Foster replied: "Two reasons really - first of all I see it as an opportunity to have a space for a civilised discussion in a meaningful way.

"Very often political programmes are very short and snappy and there's not enough opportunity to develop stories.

"The second reason is to bring Northern Ireland into the mainstream of UK politics. It's something I feel very passionate about, something that I have thought of as a student, a very long time ago.

"That is the opportunity in GB News and I am really looking forward to it."

3.30pm update: They NEED us! US expert dismantles Joe Biden's Brexit fears as 'big bold trade deal' looms

Joe Biden's well-publicised concerns over Northern Ireland will not derail a future UK/US trade deal, and an agreement could be sealed as early as next year, former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell has said.

The staunch Brexiteer, who is now CEO of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy in the US, believes such a deal would offer massive benefits for UK consumers, thus vindicating the UK’s decision to quit the EU in the first place.

A comprehensive UK/US trade deal would be a massive boost for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and International Trade Secretary Liz Truss travelled to Washington for talks with opposite number Katherine Tai, the US Trade Representative, earlier this month.

Mr Biden, who has strong ancestral connections with Ireland, has voiced concerns about Brexit, and yesterday the Whitehouse took a swipe at Lord David Frost over his bid to renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol, citing concerns over the Good Friday Agreement.

However, Mr Carswell stressed his belief that the President's concerns could be addressed adequately and assurances given.

brexit joe biden uk us trade deal

Brexit LIVE: Joe Biden's well-publicised concerns over Northern Ireland will not derail a future UK/US trade deal, a Brexiteer has said (Image: GETTY)

Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Luke Hawker.

1.40pm update: Brexit showdown: Furious Britons demand Boris ditches EU for WTO after VDL rejection

Britons have called on Boris Johnson to ditch the EU trade deal after a minister refused to reopen talks over Brexit issues

Following Lord David Frost's request to renegotiate a key part of the Brexit deal this week, EU minister Clement Beaune refused to change the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Now, readers have stated the Prime Minister should look to rip up the whole trade deal to protect the UK.

12.15pm update: 'That was his belief' Arlene Foster on what Boris truly thought EU would do on N. Ireland

Former Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster has revealed what Boris Johnson truly thought the EU would do over the Brexit Protocol.

Former DUP leader Arlene Forster has argued that Boris Johnson approached Brexit negotiation with Brussels always planning to change the Northern Ireland protocol at a later date.

The Protocol has bitterly offended Northern Irish Unionists who believe their place in the United Kingdom has been undermined as a result of new customs arrangements.

Mr Forster told Nigel Farage on a GB News panel that she felt "let down" by the signing of the Protocol.

Boris Johnson planned to change NI protocol 'later' says Foster

11.10am update: 'Got until September!' EU issued ultimatum after bloc refused to renegotiate Brexit deal

Brussels has been issued an ultimatum after Maros Sefcovic refused to renegotiate the Brexit deal.

With both sides now breaking for the summer recess, David Jones deputy chair of the European Research Group and MP for Clwyd West warned a compromise on the Northern Ireland Protocol must be reached by September.

Amid the disruption to trade in Northern Ireland, Mr Jones said the UK "cannot go on" without changed to the Protocol.

The UK extended the amnesty on chilled meats until October and if the EU does not agree to a compromise on the matter by then, Mr Jones claimed the UK may consider using Article 16 of the Brexit deal.

9.45pm update: NI deal scuppers hopes for Theresa May to become Nato's secretary general

Hopes that Theresa May may become Nato's next secretary general have been dashed over Britain's handling of the Northern Ireland issue, Nato sources indicated last night.

“Until this mess over Northern Ireland is sorted out, the consensus is that we can dismiss any hope of a UK candidate getting the job,“  said an alliance source last night.

Mandarins have already begun the informal process of assessing who will replace Jens Stoltenberg as Nato chief next year, at what is a crucial point in the alliance’s history.

The former Norwegian PM has been in office since 2014 and his four-year mandate was extended for a further two years to ensure stability at a time of tension with Donald Trump and Russian assertiveness.


The European trade landscape after Brexit (Image: EXPRESS)

9.00am update: POLL: Should Boris Johnson deploy 'nuclear option' and spark rift with EU? VOTE

Boris Johnson could trigger Article 16 if the European Union refuses the UK's demand over renegotiating the Northern Ireland Protocol. But should he trigger the so-called "nuclear option" that would spark another major rift with Brussels?

The Prime Minister was poised to overhaul the post-Brexit arrangements for the region this week but was eventually talked out of it by his Brexit minister Lord Frost, according to The Telegraph.

But the warning to use the "nuclear option" if Brussels refuses to bow to London's demands was reportedly issued to Ireland this week.

UK officials are understood to have made clear it is Boris Johnson and not Lord Frost who is most in favour of triggering Article 16.

8.20am update: Brexit ultimatum: UK asks EU to bring deal to 'standstill' as food supply threatened

Britain has asked the EU to bring the Northern Ireland Protocol to a "standstill" so a raft of new measures which could threaten the supply of food and medicines to the province do not come into force.

The export of chilled meats such as sausages from England, Scotland and Wales to Northern Ireland will be banned from October unless a new arrangement can be secured.

There is also concern about the supply of medicines, with a British pharmaceutical trade association warning that more than 2,000 medicines could be withdrawn if new regulations due to be introduced in January make it “unviable” to export to Northern Ireland.

The UK request for a standstill would mean existing “grace periods” covering the import of products such as chilled meats and medicines would continue.

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