Labour reshuffle has revealed that Brexit is not safe with Keir Starmer

Angela Rayner confirmed as Shadow Levelling Up Secretary

After today’s reshuffle of the Labour front bench by Sir Keir Starmer, Tory MPs are gearing themselves up for another fight over Brexit – even if Labour denies that rejoining the EU is on the agenda.

Looking at the winners and losers today it was clear that being a member of the so-called People’s vote campaign for a second referendum to reverse Brexit was definitely a plus.

No surprise really given that Starmer was in effect coordinating that campaign as shadow Brexit Secretary.

It may well be that he hopes memories are short in regards to the way he and other Labour MPs tried to reverse that historic EU referendum result in 2016, but the reaction of Conservative Brexiteers today made it clear that they at least have not forgotten.

At the forefront was Lee Anderson, a man who has become a Tory hero and deputy chairman but left the Labour Party over Brexit.

READ MORE: Lee Anderson slams new Starmer cabinet member who tried to keep rapists in UK

He said: “It looks like Labour are gearing up for a quick return into the EU. Be in no doubt, this is a clear statement of intent to re-join the EU at the earliest opportunity.”

What promoted this remark?

Well loook at the winners in the reshuffle – Hillary Benn joins the shadow cabinet to become shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, a key Brexit brief given that the protocol issues are far from over and there are serious question marks over the Windsor Framework.

Benn was a leading figure in trying to reverse Brexit but other second referendum Rejoiners have been promoted too.

Pat McFadden is now shadowing the Cabinet Office and basically in charge of campaigning; Liz Kendall is shadow Work and Pensions Secretary; Steve Reed moves to shadow Environment Secretary (another key Brexit and trade brief); Darren Jones is shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury; and Ellie Reeves (sister of shadow Chancellor Rachel) enters the shadow cabinet as deputy national campaign coordinator.

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No wonder former Brexit minister now deputy chairman of the European Research Group David Jones was sceptical of Starmer’s assurances that Brexit is safe with Labour.

He said: “Starmer himself pressed for a second referendum, so it’s hardly surprising that he chooses to surround himself with people of his own mindset.

“It’s clear that if Labour won the next election they would waste no time in pressing for closer relations with the EU and ultimately rejoining.”

Starmer has vowed that he will not reverse Brexit and Labour would not take the UK back into the single market of the customs union under Brussels rule.

But now 16 of his 32 shadow cabinet members are former second referendum supporters and at least previously Rejoiners.

As one Tory MP noted today: “Sadiq Khan did not mention in his election that he was going to put the whole of London in ULEZ and yet he did.”

Starmer has not been adverse to changing his mind without warning and to help him win elections.

This included supporting Jeremy Corbyn and his policies before banning him from being a Labour candidate.

More recently, he abandoned the plan to end the two child limit on benefits.

Or the time he supported Extinction Rebellion, then condemned them – and then took money off Just Stop Oil’s bank roller Dale Vince.

We already know that Labour’s pro-EU movement is trying to pack candidates into winnable seats.

So if actions speak louder than words, is Brexit really safe in a government led by Sir Keir Starmer?

The Labour reshuffle would suggest not.

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