Labour’s Keir Starmer to pledge ‘better’ EU deal for farmers
British opposition leader will promise a closer trading relationship on farming.
LONDON — The U.K.’s opposition Labour party would negotiate a new trade deal with the European Union on farming, leader Keir Starmer will announce Tuesday.
In an address to the influential National Farming Union, Starmer will promise British farmers a closer trading relationship with the EU that will protect food standards.
“It was obvious the Conservative party had given up on farmers when they elected [former Prime Minister] Liz Truss. Labour’s approach to trade will be very different — I can promise you that," he will say, according to pre-released remarks.
Starmer will add: "We want to remove barriers to exporters, not put them up. We want to protect high British standards, not water them down."
Since his election to the leadership Starmer has largely steered clear of the debate over Brexit, but his speech comes as part of a bid to woo the U.K.’s farming community, which typically leans toward the Conservatives.
His team sense an opportunity due to widespread farming anger over the U.K.’s post-Brexit trade deals with New Zealand and Australia, that they feel disadvantages U.K. farmers and waters down food standards. Minette Batters, the NFU’s president, has said both deals have "little benefit" for Britain’s farming lobby.