New British Prime Minister Starmer Seeks to Improve on ‘Botched’ Trade Deal With European Union

New British Prime Minister Starmer Seeks to Improve on ‘Botched’ Trade Deal With European Union

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer has said he would seek to improve the trade deal with the European Union as he began a two-day tour of the U.K. as part of an “immediate reset” with governments in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

LONDON — British Prime Minister Keir Starmer is seeking to reset relations at home and abroad.

During a visit Sunday to Edinburgh, that he billed as an “immediate reset” with the regional governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, Starmer said he would also seek to improve the U.K.’s “botched” trade deal with the European Union.

“I do think that we can get a much better deal than the botched deal that (former Prime Minister) Boris Johnson saddled the U.K. with,” he said in reference to the pact negotiated after Brexit.

Starmer said there were many discussions ahead to strengthen trading, research and defense ties with the EU. But he said those talks had begun as his top diplomat made his first visit abroad to Germany, Poland and Sweden.

With two of Starmer’s ministers in Europe ahead of a NATO meeting next week, the premier made a point of visiting the leaders of the regional governments in the U.K. following his party’s landslide victory last week.

Starmer, who said he has a “mandate to do politics differently,” met with Scottish First Minister John Swinney in an effort to “turn disagreement into cooperation.”

“We will serve every single person in Scotland,” Starmer told a group of enthusiastic supporters. “Performance, self-interest: they’re the politics of the past. The politics of this Labour government of 2024 is about public service, restoring standards of making sure that we always, always have in our mind’s eye the people who elected us into government.”

While each of the devolved nations in the U.K. elects members to the House of Commons in London, they also have their own regional parliaments.

Starmer’s Labour Party trounced Swinney’s Scottish National Party for seats in Parliament. But the SNP, which has pushed for Scottish independence, still holds a majority at Holyrood, the Scottish parliament.

Swinney said after meeting the prime minister that he believed there’s an opportunity to work together to make a difference for the Scottish people.


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