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Sadiq Khan is set to call for a “pragmatic debate” on rejoining the European Union in a speech this evening. He is expected to accuse ministers of having “select amnesia” when it comes to Brexit, describing it as “one of the root causes of our problems”. Mr Khan will say politicians “can’t keep quiet about the immense damage Brexit is doing”. He will say: “Ministers seem to have developed selective amnesia when it comes to one of the root causes of our problems.”
“Brexit can’t be airbrushed out of history or the consequences wished away… We need greater alignment with our European neighbours – a shift from this extreme, hard Brexit we have now to a workable version that serves our economy and people.
“That includes having a pragmatic debate about the benefits of being a part of the customs union and the single market.”
The comment could be seen as a swipe at Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has ruled out a second referendum.
He has adopted a “make Brexit work” appraoch and ruled out support for a Swiss-style model of closer economic ties.
Sir Keir has previously said there is “no case” for returning to the EU or the single market.
When questioned on whether he could change his mind on the issue in December, the Labour leader responded: “No, I don’t think. We left and having left there is no case now for saying ‘go back’ and back into the single market and customs union”.
A poll earlier this week found that Conservative party voters are losing faith in the idea of Brexit benefits and opportunities.
The survey, conducted by Opinium, found that one in three Tory voters (33 per cent) now believe Brexit has created more problems than it has solved.
Only 22 per cent of those who intend to vote Conservative say Britain’s exit from the EU has solved more problems that it has created.
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