Tony Blair ‘helped broker’ Keir Starmer’s meeting with Emmanuel Macron

Keir Starmer Says Emmanuel Macron Meeting ‘Constructive And Positive’

Sir Tony Blair helped broker Sir Keir Starmer’s cosy meeting with Emmanuel Macron, it has been claimed.

A Whitehall source said the Labour former prime minister used his extensive EU contacts book to arrange the talks with the French President in Paris yesterday.

The source said Sir Tony, an arch-Remainer, thinks that “reversing Brexit can be a vote-winner”.

They told the Daily Mail: “Blair is trying to convince Starmer that the more he edges towards saying Brexit is a disaster, the better Labour will do.

“He believes that reversing Brexit can be a vote-winner and he is pushing that message very hard.”

Sir Keir afterwards described the meeting, where the pair exchanged gifts, as “constructive and positive”.

He added: “It was my first opportunity to say how much I value the relationship between our two countries, particularly when it comes to prosperity and security and how, if we are privileged enough to be elected into power, we intend to build on that relationship and make it even stronger than it is today.”

The meeting came as France and Germany put forward new plans that could open the door to Britain returning to the EU as an “associate member”.

The proposals involve a four-tiered system with different levels of integration.

Under the “associate member” third tier, countries would be part of the single market, pay into the bloc’s coffers and be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

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The Labour leader, a Remainer who campaigned for a second referendum, has pledged to seek a closer trading relationship with the EU if he takes the keys to No 10.

Sir Keir said he would look to negotiate a “much better” Brexit deal with Brussels.

But he has insisted he would not drag Britain back into the single market or customs union.

Experts have warned his vision for a closer partnership with the EU would likely face challenges if he wins power.

A report published this week by the UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE) research group found that using the existing Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) to reduce trade barriers will be “very challenging”.

Labour and Sir Tony were contacted for comment.

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