Keir Starmer has vowed to ‘make Brexit work’ if Labour wins the next general election.
The Labour leader made the remarks whilst urging Red Wall voters to “take another look” at the party, which he said has changed since the 2019 defeat under Jeremy Corbyn.
That’s despite polling showing that the Islington North MP would be the most popular choice among people in Red Wall seats to lead the party if the position became available.
‘Slogans won’t cut it’
Starmer hit out at the Tories under Boris Johnson by highlighting the rising cost of living.
He said he is determined to help the UK benefit from its “strong global relationships”.
“That means not just getting Brexit done but making Brexit work.”
He added: “Making Brexit work is painstaking work, and slogans won’t cut it.
“My goals will be to repair the alliances that this government has damaged while also ensuring that our borders remain safe and secure.”
Presenting his new ‘Contract With The British People’, Starmer said: “The cost of living is increasing. Energy bills are going up; wages are stagnant. Tax rises are coming in April. Too many people do not feel safe in their streets. And good luck to anyone trying to get a quick GP appointment.
“I want to start the new year by making a pledge of straight leadership. Today I want to introduce my Contract With The British People.
“This will be a solemn agreement about what this country needs and how a good government should conduct itself.”
Starmer started by ‘solemnly promising’ to respect the Nolan principles, which include accountability, honesty and selflessness, and said his contract will be based on security, prosperity and respect.
Labour is a ‘patriotic opposition’, Starmer insists
Whilst urging voters to sign up to his new contract, he said everyone has the right to access the NHS when they need it, to live in places they care for and have the opportunity to thrive and realise their ambitions.
He then joked that opposing the government can make Labour “sound pretty miserable” but insisted wanting to correct flaws are precisely because the party is “patriotic”.
“This country has presented me with great opportunities. It’s a great place to live. But I don’t think you cease to be a patriot because you notice your country has flaws,” he said.
After Starmer insisted he would “make Brexit work”, but that “slogans won’t cut it”, one Twitter user mocked his speech: “‘I don’t do slogans’ he went on to say.”
And another said “Labour should face reality at some point and acknowledge that Brexit can’t work in the world of facts we all live.”
“Do they really think it can be made to work or they are cheating themselves and us?,” they added.
Michael Graves concluded “They’ll never learn. We don’t want Brexit,” whilst Danielle Zana urged politicians to “Get Brexit Binned.”
And Ed Parkhouse suggested rejoining the customs union and the single market “will make Brexit work better than now but not as good as before” and that he suspected Starmer knew that nothing else is worth cosidering.
Meanwhile, Carter Blunt warned of “decades of this shite ahead”, which he put down to Starmer not having “the balls to say to people that Brexit is, was and ever shall be an unworkable mistake”.