Labour could drag UK back into the EU control, warns expert – alert over 2024 election

Brexit ’no excuse’ for Northern Ireland violence says Villiers

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Despite leaving the bloc, one academic warned a Labour Government may look to reline the UK with the EU’s single market and customs union if it comes to power in the near future. Speaking to, professor Alex de Ruyter of Birmingham City University claimed elements of the UK’s departure from the EU may soon be reversed if Sir keir Starmer navigates a successful election campaign. Professor de Ruyter said: “I think we need to look beyond the rhetoric.

“It’s not in either side’s interest in the long-run to damage the relationship as the economic and security links are too great.

“Much is linked to the current personalities. If we had a change of government in the UK by 2024 for example, then it is likely that Labour would look to have a closer relationship with the EU that could entail re-joining the Single Market and/or the EU Customs Union.”

Although Sir Keir has attempted to move Labour away from Brexit, many within his party have voiced their opposition to Boris Johnson’s deal with the EU.

In order to regain valuable seats in formerly Red Wall seats, Sir Keir claimed the UK must get on with its future post-Brexit, concentrate on the recovery from coronavirus and maintain ties with the EU although ties have been severely damaged by Brussels’ threats to block vaccine exports. 

The bloc made those threats amid its failed vaccine rollout, which professor de Ruyter claimed had damaged the EU’s reputation. 

Professor de Ruyter also stated EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen had been “clumsy” in her handling of the vaccine programme.

He said: “The Commission has been clumsy in its handling of the vaccination issue and has damaged its reputation, particularly that of Ursula Von der Leyen.”

Although the EU had threatened to damage relations with the UK over its threats to block vaccine supplies, professor de Ruyter claimed it is not in either side’s interest to endanger economic ties despite some of the threats from the continent.

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From January 1, the UK officially left the single market and customs union due to Brexit.

However, in order to maintain the peace process in Ireland, Northern Ireland was forced to remain part of the EU’s single market and some of the customs union regulations.

Due to this, there have been added customs checks for goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain.

Some have claimed Northern Ireland has been left isolated and removed from the rest of the UK, thus causing violence in Belfast between unionist and loyalist groups.

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Indeed, this week, Belfast has seen violence in the city which has resulted in several police officers being injured during the violence. 

Commenting on the issues caused by the Northern Ireland protocol, professor de Ruyter said: “The Northern Ireland Protocol isn’t perfect – clearly – as it creates a barrier between NI and the rest of the UK, but no one has proposed any viable alternative and don’t forget that the Northern Assembly can vote by a simple majority on continued application of the agreement every four years after its implementation on January 1st this year.

“So if they don’t like it they could opt to exit the arrangements put in place (which would take effect 2 years later), though that would not be without its problems either, from a Republican/Irish perspective.”

Due to the violence, the Stormont Assembly met to discuss how to resolve issues in the country.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis travelled to Belfast on Thursday to meet political parties.

Boris Johnson said this week: “The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or criminality.

“I am deeply concerned by the scenes of violence in Northern Ireland, especially attacks on PSNI who are protecting the public and businesses, attacks on a bus driver and the assault of a journalist.

“The way to resolve differences is through dialogue, not violence or criminality.”

Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin added: “Now is the time for the two governments and leaders on all sides to work together to defuse tensions and restore calm.”

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