Those who oppose Brexit altogether were hardly more welcoming, saying Labour’s “transitional period” was nothing more than a diversionary stalling tactic.
“This is all spin and no principle,” the Liberal Democrats, the party that has championed remaining in the European Union, said in a statement. “Even Mr. Starmer is only proposing to remain in the single market during a transitional period, and refuses to say he will back membership after that.”
Although presented as a break with the Conservative-led government, the Labour position echoes a call in a government position paper this month for an indefinite extension of Britain’s participation in the European free trade bloc as negotiations continue past the deadline “in order to avoid a cliff edge for individuals and businesses on both sides.”
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