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Norway-style deal with EU will not prevent Northern Ireland hard border, shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer warns

Top News2018-06-11

Keir Starmer has said a Norway-style deal with the EU would not prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland, as he urged pro-EU Tories to “change the course of Brexit” talks by rebelling on a series of crunch Commons votes.The shadow Brexit secretary said becoming a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) - effectively keeping Britain in the single market - would be "totally incompatible" with the key issue of avoiding a border on the island of Ireland.It comes as MPs are gearing up for two days of parliamentary warfare over the EU (Withdrawal) Bill - the centrepiece of the government's Brexit legislation.Labour has tabled a parliamentary bid to force the government to negotiate a Brexit deal where the UK retains “full access” to the EU’s single market and that would ensure “no new impediments” to trade.The move is designed to convince potential Labour rebels not to support a Lords amendment to keep Britain in the EEA but pro-EU MPs in the party immediately rubbished the efforts as "nowhere near enough" to unite the party.Labour's amendment "doesn't tie us to a model that doesn't work for Britain" but would pave the way for a "single market deal", Sir Keir said.Sir Keir told BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "In fact, if you are in the EEA, you are not in a customs union with the EU, and to test that proposition, I went to Norway and then I went to Norway/Sweden border to see for myself what does an EEA border look like?(independent)

Keir Starmer has said a Norway-style deal with the EU would not prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland, as he urged pro-EU Tories to “change the course of Brexit” talks by rebelling on a series of crunch Commons votes.

The shadow Brexit secretary said becoming a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) - effectively keeping Britain in the single market - would be "totally incompatible" with the key issue of avoiding a border on the island of Ireland.

It comes as MPs are gearing up for two days of parliamentary warfare over the EU (Withdrawal) Bill - the centrepiece of the government's Brexit legislation.

Labour has tabled a parliamentary bid to force the government to negotiate a Brexit deal where the UK retains “full access” to the EU’s single market and that would ensure “no new impediments” to trade.

The move is designed to convince potential Labour rebels not to support a Lords amendment to keep Britain in the EEA but pro-EU MPs in the party immediately rubbished the efforts as "nowhere near enough" to unite the party.

Labour's amendment "doesn't tie us to a model that doesn't work for Britain" but would pave the way for a "single market deal", Sir Keir said.

Sir Keir told BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "In fact, if you are in the EEA, you are not in a customs union with the EU, and to test that proposition, I went to Norway and then I went to Norway/Sweden border to see for myself what does an EEA border look like?


(independent)

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