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Professor Daniel Hodson suggested what he called a “well-resourced Rejoiner campaign” was seeking to capitalise on a “perfect storm” of political pressures to frustrate attempts to sever ties with the bloc once and for all. He was commenting on a blog published by the Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIBUK), in conjunction with Facts4EU, entitled: ‘Brexit threat? Sir Keir Starmer breaks cover to announce he wants to ‘renegotiate’ with EU’.
The report highlights recent remarks by Sir Keir, who earlier this month suggested he would seek to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU in the event of a general election victory.
It also cites Remain-backing Tory MP Tobias Ellwood’s suggestion that Britain should rejoin the Single Market , as well as remarks by Tory peer Daniel Hannan in a recent comment piece in the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Hodson told Express.co.uk: “Don’t let’s fall into the trap of imagining that Brexit is “done”.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has been accused to trying to thwart Brexit (Image: GETTY)
Brian Monteith, the former Brexit Party MEP (Image: GETTY)
“A well-resourced Rejoiner campaign has spotted the opportunity provided by a Government experiencing a perfect storm of political pressures, including Covid, the Ukraine War and inflation.”
Mr Hodson subsequently clarified that the “campaign” which he referred to as a “tendency” involving europhiles such as “the ever-present Andrew Adonis”, Tony Blair and George Soros.
He added: “All the old threats and porkies are emerging, and now the Labour Party is espousing ‘renegotiation’.
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Former PM Tony Blair at St George’s Chapel to attend the Most Noble Order of the Garter ceremony (Image: GETTY)
“Tell that to those who have tried to negotiate with the EU to get some sanity into the Northern Ireland Protocol.”
Former Brexit Party MEP Brian Monteith added: “Maros Sefcovic is on the back foot, he now says the UK must negotiate – but previously said there could be no negotiation.
“He’s only moved because of the grace periods the UK introduced – which he now wants to remove and make the temporary Protocol permanent. It’s an attempted power grab that must be resisted.
“Any Tory MPs agreeing with Sefcovic are effectively backing the break-up of the UK and the secession of Northern Ireland so it can join the Republic. That’s not unionism.”
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Tobias Ellwood MP (Image: GETTY)
Daniel Hannan in the House of Lords (Image: GETTY)
The CIBUK report highlighted Sir Keir’s interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari on June 6, in which he said: “What I want to do, and what we would if we were in government is make Brexit work.
“Which is make sure that we’ve got a better deal that works, whether it’s that for businesses because so many businesses are struggling with the extra bureaucracy.
“They just want to trade well with their European partners and of course across the world.”
It also references to an article by Defence Committee chairman and Bournemouth East MP Mr Ellwood in the June 1 edition of The House”, the House of Commons magazine.
Professor Daniel Hodson (Image: Bruges Group)
Mr Ellwood wrote: “The single market means the free movement of goods, services, capital and people.
“It would see £7bn of paperwork and checks go, and boost our economy by restoring free trade to sectors demanding change.
“It would require acceptance of some EU regulations. However, UK industry, from food to pharmaceuticals, chemicals to motor manufacturing, says they would be better off working with one common standard rather than having to follow two: both a UK regulatory system and the EU one for most exports.”
He added: “There remain understandable reservations about the free movement of people in relation to benefit claims which would need addressing, but this is not insurmountable.
Maros Sefcovic and Liz Truss in Brussels in February (Image: GETTY)
If joining the single market (with conditions) results in strengthening our economy, easing the cost of living crisis, settling the Irish problem at a stroke and promoting our European credentials as we take an ever greater lead in Ukraine, would it not be churlish to not face this reality?”
The report’s authors also voice disquiet at remarks by Lord Hannan in his Telegraph article on June 4 suggesting the decision to quit the single market had been an error.
He wrote: “Staying in the single market, or large parts of it, would have saved us a lot of trouble. Had we declared, immediately after the 2016 vote, that we intended to return to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
“An opportunity was lost – and lost permanently. The two strongest arguments for retaining many single market arrangements were that it would ease the transition and, by finding compromise, spare us a lot of broken friendships. That moment has now passed.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Sir Keir, Mr Ellwood and Lord Hannan for comment.