Sir Keir Starmer hints he would bring back EU free movement at next general election


LABOUR leadership frontrunner Sir Keir Starmer hinted today he would bring back EU freedom of movement at the next general election.

Sir Keir suggested he would fight to bring back a Norway-style relationship with the bloc with looser immigration control.

Sir Keir has hinted he will bring back free movement

When asked if he would argue for a Norway-style deal with the EU, the favourite for leader, Sir Keir said “we will have to see what the situation is in 2024”.

He told the BBC: “Johnson has made a lot of promises about the deal he will get. We will have to see what it looks like.”

He added: “The basic premise that you don’t make it more difficult for businesses to do business seems so blindingly obvious to me that we should take their advice.”

He also promised to remove the salary thresholds as a bar to immigration into the UK.

He said: “I think the idea that if you don’t earn a certain salary, you are not bringing any worth to this country is offensive.

“I would (scrap the threshold) I do not think they are the right measure for the worth of an individual coming to this country.”

It is not the first time Sir Keir has argued for freedom of movement, just weeks ago when asked if he would fight to bring it back, he said “of course, bring back, argue for, challenge.”

Freedom of movement will end at the end of 2020 and the UK’s new Aussie-style points based system will begin – including minimum salaries for migrants.

Sir Keir said: “The basic premise that you don’t make it more difficult for businesses to do business, it seems to be blindingly obvious to me that we should take their advice.”

Sir Keir is the favourite to win the Labour leadership election, as he faces off in the final round against Corbynista candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.

Whoever the next leader is, winning over Leave voters who handed the Conservatives a mammoth majority will be crucial to gaining any momentum behind the Labour party.

At a leadership event last month, he said he would fight “the wider case on immigration”.

He said: “We welcome migrants, we don’t scapegoat them. Low wages, poor housing, poor public services, are not the fault of people who come here: they’re political failure. So we have to make the case for the benefits of migration: for the benefits of free movement.

“I want people in this country to be able to go and work abroad, in Europe; and I want people in Europe to be able to come and work here. I want families to be able to live together – whether that’s in Europe, or here.”

Sir Keir is the frontrunner in the leadership race, facing off against Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy


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