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Sir Keir Starmer will use NATIO summit for plans to unpick Brexit deal

Sir Keir Starmer will use this week’s Nato summit to press ahead with plans to unpick Boris Johnson‘s Brexit deal.

The Prime Minister is expected to discuss options for watering down the Brexit agreement during talks with a string of EU leaders in Washington over the next 48 hours.

In a signal that he is looking to make significant progress, No 10 confirmed that the new Europe minister Nick Thomas-Symonds will accompany the PM to the summit, which is primarily focused on defence and security.

Leaders from 23 EU countries are expected to attend the Nato summit this week.

Sir Keir revealed at the weekend he has ‘already begun’ work on changes to the agreement, adding: ‘We can get a much better deal than the botched deal that Boris Johnson saddled the UK with.’ 

Sir Keir Starmer (pictured above during his first Cabinet meeting) will use this week's Nato summit to press ahead with plans to unpick Boris Johnson 's Brexit deal

Sir Keir Starmer (pictured above during his first Cabinet meeting) will use this week’s Nato summit to press ahead with plans to unpick Boris Johnson ‘s Brexit deal

Boris Johnson (pictured) warned at the weekend that Labour was beginning a 'great sell out' of the British public over Brexit

Boris Johnson (pictured) warned at the weekend that Labour was beginning a ‘great sell out’ of the British public over Brexit

Labour's initial talks are focused on a new security pact and a so-called 'veterinary agreement', which could reduce red tape on food exports and imports in return for closer alignment with EU rules (pictured: President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen)

Labour’s initial talks are focused on a new security pact and a so-called ‘veterinary agreement’, which could reduce red tape on food exports and imports in return for closer alignment with EU rules (pictured: President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen)

Mr Thomas-Symonds, who is one of the PM’s closest political ties, held initial discussions with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic this week. 

Speaking afterwards he said the pair had agreed to hold further talks to ‘discuss how we can strengthen co-operation and reset the relationship’.

Discussions in Washington could pave the way for deeper negotiations next week when Sir Keir hosts European leaders at Blenheim Palace for a summit of the European Political Community. 

New Foreign Secretary David Lammy has also indicated he hopes to attend an October meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council as an observer.

Sir Keir, who once campaigned for a second referendum, ruled out re-joining the EU during the general election campaign.

But he has already indicated he will push for closer ties with Brussels, prompting fears that Britain could become a ‘rule taker’ by offering to comply with EU regulations in return for closer trading arrangements. 

Critics warn this could undermine new trade deals and make it impossible for the UK to determine its own regulatory regime in fast-growing areas like artificial intelligence and gene-edited crops.

Labour’s initial talks are focused on a new security pact and a so-called ‘veterinary agreement’, which could reduce red tape on food exports and imports in return for closer alignment with EU rules.

But Brussels has indicated the price of a deal could include a new ‘youth mobility agreement’, which would effectively restore free movement for the under-30s – something Sir Keir has so far ruled out.

Boris Johnson warned at the weekend that Labour was beginning a ‘great sell out’ of the British public over Brexit.

The former PM said: ‘Behind these harmless sounding agreements is the reality that the UK will be accepting rules set by Brussels – no matter how onerous – with no UK say on the making of those rules. We are on the road to serfdom under Starmer.’