Labour rules out UK joining Customs Market

Michel Barnier speaks on third anniversary on Brexit

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Labour is calling for the UK’s renewed relationship with the EU. Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy said Britain needs to “normalise our relationship with Europe” after exiting the European Union over three years ago. He said he was “very firmly” on one side of the Brexit debate as one of the MPs leading the second referendum campaign.

But ruling out a re-entry into the single market he told the Telegraph: “We cannot take people back into that. And that’s why I think it has been clear to rule out re-entry into the single market or the Customs Union.

“But what I do think we need to do is normalise our relationship with Europe. We haven’t even got a structured dialogue with the European Union.”

Mr Lammy said a system needs to be in place in which the UK and the EU sit down “two or four times a year to discuss issues of importance”.

“Security, climate, challenges of artificial intelligence, China, all of those things. We haven’t done a structured dialogue. So let’s do that,” he added.

There is mounting speculation that the UK and EU could unveil a deal aimed at breaking the impasse over the contentious post-Brexit trading arrangements early next week.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the fringes of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday to try to get an agreement over the line.

It comes after a visit to Northern Ireland by the PM, during which he met the DUP and held brief meetings with other party leaders.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the next generation of the Northern Ireland Protocol depends on the outcome of any deal struck between the UK and the EU in the coming days on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

In a weekend message to party members, seen by the PA news agency, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said now is the time for “Brussels to stretch itself” to restore political stability in Northern Ireland.

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