KEIR Starmer’s claims he could negotiate a better Brexit deal for the UK have been branded a “political lie”.

While insisting he did not want Britain to rejoin the customs union, the single market or the EU, the Labour leader has said he wants a major rewrite of the UK’s exit from the trading bloc.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Starmer criticised former prime minister Boris Johnson’s (below) deal and said if Labour won the next election, he would push for better terms when the deal comes up for review in 2025.

The National: Boris Johnson

He said: “Almost everyone recognises the deal Johnson struck is not a good deal — it’s far too thin.

“As we go into 2025 we will attempt to get a much better deal for the UK.”

Starmer has previously spoken about striking a veterinary deal with the EU, which would remove border checks on animals and food, as well as reaching an agreement on recognising professional qualifications.

But his comments to the paper signal Labour could be interested in a more far-reaching rewrite of the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU.

The Financial Times also reported that some Labour figures want to improve youth mobility across the continent and closer co-operation on energy.

'This is a political lie'

Writing in the specialist outlet Eurointelligence, director of the EU-focused website Wolfgang Münchau said it was a “delusion” to think Britain could negotiate a better Brexit.

He said: “The big delusion of the UK policy consensus before Brexit was that a relationship based on multiple opt-outs was sustainable. As a semi-detached member, the UK never took ownership of European integration. The Remain campaign never knew how to sell.

“Sir Keir Starmer's attempt to re-write the relationship is based on a delusion of a similar kind, that it is possible to stay outside the single market and the customs union, and get a better deal. This is a political lie.”

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Münchau, a former associate editor of the Financial Times, added: “Probably the biggest delusion yet to be unpicked is Sir Keir's repeated assertion that there is a better deal with the EU out there.

“This is simply not true. There was a lot of vindictive commentary from the EU during the entire Brexit process, but the deal that was eventually agreed was a reasonable third-country trade deal.”

He added: “Here is a scenario for how this can play out. The contradiction of Sir Keir's policy on Europe will either become an election theme. Or it will become apparent once they hit reality.

"If the EU plays hardball, as it surely will, pressure will grow from inside the Labour Party for another referendum.

“The only way to do this would be the way David Cameron did this: put it in a manifesto and see whether you get a majority. Cameron did this in 2015, very much to everybody's surprise, including his own.

“We would not bet on history repeating itself in the reverse direction. Getting back in is a harder job than getting out. At the very least, you would need somebody who knows what they are doing.”

The Brexit deal came into force in 2021 and the Financial Times reported it was unclear whether there was much appetite in Brussels to rerun complex talks with Britain on its relationship.

Starmer said: “We have to make it work. That’s not a question of going back in. But I refuse to accept that we can’t make it work. I think about those future generations when I say that.

“I say that as a dad. I’ve got a 15-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl. I’m not going to let them grow up in a world where all I’ve got to say to them about their future is, it’s going to be worse than it might otherwise have been. I’ve got an utter determination to make this work.”

Starmer added: “I do think we can have a closer trading relationship as well. That’s subject to further discussion.”