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May’s Brexit negotiations getting off to ‘very, very bad start’


Theresa May campaigning

Theresa May campaigning

PA Wire/PA Images

Theresa May campaigning

Labour’s Keir Stammer says leak from Brexit dinner ‘worrying’.

Labour’s shadow Brexit minister Sir Keir Starmer has claimed Theresa May’s approach to talks with the EU is simply not working – after getting off to a “very, very bad” start.

Visiting a German-owned factory in Birmingham, Sir Keir was asked to comment on reports European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker had emerged from Downing Street talks “10 times more sceptical than before” about the Government’s plan for Brexit.

After joining Birmingham Erdington MP Jack Dromey in talking to managers and workers at the Guhring plant in Aston, Sir Keir also urged both Remain and Leave voters to consider the future of Britain’s economy.

Sir Keir, who spoke to workers from other parts of the EU worried about their right to remain in Britain, said of the Government’s current stance on Brexit: “I think the talks have got off to a very, very bad start.

“I don’t doubt that this leak (regarding talks with Mr Juncker) is irritating for the Prime Minister but the contents are really worrying.

“And I think that rigid approach, that fixed approach that she has taken here in the UK is simply not working with our EU partners.

“We need to be flexible, we need to be smart and we need to understand how negotiations go – so she has got off to a very, very bad start I’m afraid.”

Mr Dromey criticised the Government for “insulting” Britain’s EU partners and opting not to guarantee the right of workers from other parts of the bloc.

He and Sir Keir chatted with several workers as they were given a tour of machinery at Guhring’s new site, which makes specialist tooling for firms including BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Airbus.

The firm, which has operated in the UK since 1973, recently moved from premises in Mr Dromey’s constituency.

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