IN A column making a last-minute pitch to voters ahead of the May 5 polls, Sir Keir Starmer highlights the cost of living crisis (‘The people of Yorkshire deserve better’, The Yorkshire Post, May 4).
These were local elections, so the Labour leader might be forgiven for failing to mention Brexit on this occasion. But it did mean ignoring Brexit’s huge contribution to the cost of living crisis.
Former Bank of England policymaker Adam Posen estimates that “80 per cent” of the reasons the International Monetary Fund expects our inflation to remain high relative to other G7 countries are due to Brexit. “If you run a trade war against yourself, bad things happen,” says Mr Posen, head of Washington’s Peterson Institute for International Economics.
But with May 5 behind us, we’re a step closer to the next General Election and deciding if Sir Keir will be our next Prime Minister – assuming the scandals-hit incumbent clings on. Sir Keir can’t continue to ignore Britain’s relationship with Europe and the enormous damage being done to us – directly and indirectly – by erecting needless and costly barriers to our closest allies and most important trading partners.
We’re not party political, but Leeds for Europe was still happy to join other groups in the Grassroots for Europe network recently in signing a letter to Sir Keir calling on him to drop his “no rejoining” rhetoric (Starmer urged to ‘stop ducking’ case to rejoin EU, The Yorkshire Post, April 23).
Our supporters represent a highly motivated, well-informed part of the electorate. Many who wouldn’t class themselves as natural Labour supporters might be willing to lend their votes to a party offering something better than this Tory Brexit catastrophe and its meaningless slogans.
There are a lot of votes here. Would Sir Keir and colleagues such as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves like to make a pitch for them?