A UK political activist has laid out what Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer should do and say regarding Brexit.
Femi Oluwole said Starmer does not need to promise that Britain would “rejoin” the EU, but that he would change “anything in the Brexit deal that is hurting the British people” – and mentioned fishing, farming and small businesses issues.
He said: “The issue isn’t that he has to say that we should rejoin the EU. The issue is that he should be basically calling out the problems with Brexit i.e. what are Labour’s values.
Fishermen, farmers, small businesses
“Like fishermen, Labour should be standing up for them and the National Fishing Federation has said that they are going to be losing up to about 300 million pounds over the next five years and you have the Shetland Fishing Association who said that they ‘cannot overstate the scale of the betrayal’, so fishing has been screwed by Brexit.”
He added: “Then you’ve got farming, we’ve culled about 40,000 pigs because we haven’t got the EU butchers to turn them into food.
“There’s also the fact that half of UK businesses have had issues or had to stop trading with the EU altogether because of the extra red tape.”
Why Brexit will not work, according to Oluwole
Oluwole said Brexit cannot work out in the long term because of several reasons, the first being that “all countries trade most of the countries that are physically closest to them.”
He said Brexit also means the UK will have different laws to other countries it wants to trade with, and concluded it would be in Britain’s economic interest to have similar laws to the EU.
But he said Brexit means the UK does not have a say in the European Union’s laws – which means the country faces a choice between following the bloc’s rules to protect the economy and upsetting Brexiteers, or “intentionally damaging our country”.
Oluwole also hit out at Tories who complain that Britain hasn’t benefitted from Brexit “opportunities.
“But if they WERE positive opportunities, wouldn’t we have done them during the pandemic to help the economy?,” he said, adding: “Or is Boris Johnson aware that the deal he signed says that if we change our laws in any way that gives us an advantage over the EU, then that will mean tariffs, because that’s the deal we signed.”
Brexit vs EU red tape
The activist warned that red tape which appeared after Brexit is far from being a “temporary problem” because the barriers the UK now faces “aren’t going anywhere”.
And he questioned the argument that Britain succeeded outside of alleged EU red tape when it comes to the Covid vaccine rollout.
He pointed out the UK medicines regulator said Britain authorised the jabs under EU rules, and that Slovakia and Hungary are examples of EU countries which rolled out Russian vaccines without the bloc’s approval.
“The narrative that was pushed by Brexiteers that countries couldn’t take individual decision while we were in the EU was false,” he concluded.