Keir Starmer, le chef des travaillistes britanniques, esquisse sa politique européenne

Le chef des travaillistes britanniques, Keir Starmer, rencontre le premier ministre canadien, Justin Trudeau, le 16 septembre à Montréal (Canada).

Preuve que la campagne pour les prochaines élections générales britanniques a vraiment commencé, Keir Starmer, le chef de file des travaillistes, le premier parti d’opposition au Royaume-Uni, se lance sur la scène internationale, qu’il avait jusqu’à présent soigneusement évitée.

He was in The Hague on September 14th to discuss with representatives from the anti-crime agency Europol. He then flew to Montreal, Canada, where he attended a conference of social democratic leaders last weekend, where he crossed paths with Finnish Sanna Marin and Barack Obama, and had a one-on-one meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. This 61-year-old former Attorney General for England and Wales was scheduled to be in Paris on Tuesday, September 19th, for a meeting with Emmanuel Macron.

Methodical and cautious, Keir Starmer, who has successfully neutralized the left wing of the Labour Party since taking the reins in April 2020 and enjoys a lead of at least 15 points in the polls, also dares to address topics that were previously considered too risky by his strategists, as they are divisive in British public opinion: migration and relations with the European Union. From Montreal, he promised that if his party won the elections (which will likely take place in autumn 2024), he would initiate a “broad renegotiation” of the post-Brexit trade agreement signed at the end of 2020 between Boris Johnson and representatives of the European Union (EU).

Pas de réintégration dans le marché unique

In an interview with the Financial Times, Keir Starmer emphasizes: “This agreement negotiated by Mr. Johnson is not good, it is too narrow. (…) We need to make sure it works better, I speak as a father of a 15-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, I don’t want them to face a future worse than ours.” The economic impact of Brexit is difficult to quantify, but it is now established that it has complicated the exchange of goods and services with the EU due to the implemented customs procedures.

Son plan reste vague : le député a déjà évoqué un possible accord vétérinaire pour supprimer les laborieux contrôles sanitaires et phytosanitaires aux frontières, ainsi qu’une reconnaissance mutuelle de qualifications professionnelles avec le continent. Mais M. Starmer a exclu de négocier la réintégration du Royaume-Uni dans le marché unique. La question est surtout de savoir si les Européens, après les élections européennes de 2024, auront l’énergie et la volonté politique d’accorder à Londres davantage que la révision technique du traité, d’ores et déjà prévue pour 2025.

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