If he is successful in the upcoming election, Keir Starmer, the leader of the U.K. Labour party, has expressed his intention to pursue stronger connections with the European Union.

Keir Starmer, the leader of the British opposition party, has stated that if his Labour Party wins the upcoming national election, he will aim to establish a stronger connection with the European Union. However, he does not intend to overturn Brexit.

The governing Conservatives, who have held power since 2010, are trailing behind the left-of-center party by as much as 20 points according to opinion polls.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Starmer expressed his belief that the trade and cooperation agreement between the UK and EU, which was negotiated by the Conservatives, is insufficiently comprehensive.

“I cannot reword”

Britain’s departure from the EU in 2020 remains a divisive political issue. Starmer campaigned to remain in the bloc during the 2016 referendum campaign that was won narrowly by the “leave” side.

Since assuming the position of Labour leader in 2020, he has affirmed that the party will not attempt to rejoin the European Union consisting of 27 nations or endeavor to re-enter the single market and customs union of the bloc. These actions would require the United Kingdom to adhere closely to EU regulations. However, he intends to enhance the relationship that became strained during the challenging divorce negotiations.

To an extent, Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has restored a U.K.-EU relationship that hit rock-bottom under his euroskeptic predecessors Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. He has struck a deal to resolve a dispute over Northern Ireland trade rules, and signed Britain up to the EU’s Horizon Europe science cooperation program. But Sunak is a committed Brexiteer who is wary of getting too close to the bloc.

The Brexit divorce agreement is up for review every five years, starting in 2025. Sunak’s spokesman, Max Blain, said Monday that the Conservative government did not plan to renegotiate the deal “in any way, shape or form.”

Labour’s continuous advantage in the polls is giving the party optimism about regaining power. In order to enhance his reputation and establish connections, Starmer is undertaking international visits in preparation for the upcoming 2024 general election.

He is due in Paris on Tuesday to meet French President Emmanuel Macron. Last week he travelled to The Hague to discuss the fight against people-smuggling gangs with EU police agency Europol and met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a center-left political gathering in Montreal.

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