A Labour government will work to address the “flaws” in Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal with the EU which are damaging British business, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has said.
Speaking at The Times CEO summit in London, Ms Reeves said Labour had no plans to take the UK back into the EU single market, but she said they needed to address problems that the current deal had thrown up.
“A modern supply side approach cannot and must not ignore the task of making Brexit work for British businesses and consumers,” she said.
“So we must address the flaws in the Brexit deal hitting our food and drinks manufacturers, creative industries, professional services and more, through repairing and strengthening our supply chains, and building on the UK-EU trade deal to cut red tape for exporters.
“We need to adopt an approach that seeks to solve problems in a practical way for UK companies, and aims to build trust, rather than continually retreating to the issue of Brexit as a domestic political wedge.”
Ms Reeves used her address to set out plans for an expert panel, including former treasury minister Lord O’Neill, to develop policies to ensure Britain under a Labour government is the best place to start and to grow a business.
She said the party under Sir Keir Starmer was “proudly pro-worker and proudly pro-business” and would look to develop a “strategic partnership” with business in government.
“It is no longer enough, if it ever was, for government to simply get out of the way,” she said.
“For the next Labour government, such an approach will mean government applying itself more concertedly to driving up the productive potential of our economy.
“The state has to be active in fostering the conditions for our country to prosper, whether that is in sponsoring world leading research, getting the regulatory environment right, or in helping bridge the gap between a fantastic concept and the reality of its commercial production.”