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Sir Keir Starmer’s plans to forge closer trade ties with the EU risk becoming a “can of worms” and sparking an escalating conflict, Brexit experts warn.
Some senior Brussels officials want to wait for a future Labor government before they start getting seriously involved with Britain to rebuild post-Brexit ties.
Lord Kiel also pledged to forge closer economic and trade ties without rejoining the EU single market or customs union. He argues that his proposal will also help solve the problem of how the Northern Ireland Protocol operates.
But two former officials on the UK’s Brexit negotiating team argued there are limits to how far Lord Kiel can go without reopening major political issues.
one informant said Me The UK could work with Brussels on issues such as mutual recognition of entitlements already covered by the terms of existing trade agreements. It will be,” he added, adding that he would “request the EU to make an effort”, adding that it could not be guaranteed.
Another former negotiator said: There is no reason to make a deal without many moves from the UK side. “
Professor Anand Menon, UK director for a changing Europe, says negotiations with the EU could become more difficult as the bloc advances in regulation and investment, keeping the UK out as a trade competitor from now on. said.
“There is potential for all sorts of conflicts because of the simple fact that we are out,” he said. , means the EU continues to regulate and we are not keeping up.
“So I think Labor probably underestimated how difficult it will be.
A senior EU source said the bloc was serious about negotiations with the Conservative government and was optimistic about progress by April, when Northern Ireland marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement.
A source said: Citizens and businesses of Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Europe. “
Former Labor Secretary Ben Bradshaw said: Me He didn’t think it would be in the interest of either the UK or the EU to put the Northern Ireland deal on hold.
“It is the height of arrogance to assume there will be a Labor government, and I think the rest of Europe is wise enough not to take anything for granted,” he said.
Mr Bradshaw acknowledged that Labor’s plans for sectoral agreements would not “undo all the damage” done to the economy by leaving the single market, but that this would be “on the cards”. No,’ he said.