Rishi Sunak’s plans to rebuild ties with EU rejected in new poll

Keir Starmer insists Brexit agreement with EU is a ‘bad deal’

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has reportedly asked ministers and officials to draw up plans to rebuild the UK’s relationship with the European Union. The proposals cover a range of policy areas where Britain can align more closely with the EU following Brexit. However, a new Express.co.uk poll has shown almost 70 percent of readers are against such a move.

Mr Sunak’s plans focus on defence, migration, and “economic statecraft” which includes trade, energy and international standards, according to a report from Bloomberg. The publication added that Brussels will likely welcome closer relations on security due to the UK’s powerful military.

London and Brussels also confirmed their commitment to finding “joint solutions” to post-Brexit trading arrangements on Friday, February 10, after Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris held a video call with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic.

Following the meeting, Mr Cleverly tweeted: “I reiterated our determination to find solutions to the full range of challenges on the NI Protocol, working together with the EU. We will speak again soon. Teams continue to work hard on find a way forward.”

Senior politicians from both sides of the Brexit debate met at the end of last week in secret to discuss the failings of Brexit and how Britain could work better with the bloc. The two-day cross-party summit at Ditchley Park in Oxfordshire took place on Thursday and Friday last week. The Observer first reported the summit as a “private discussion” under the title “How can we make Brexit work better without neighbours in Europe?”.

In a poll that ran from 11am on Monday, February 13, to 12:30pm on Tuesday, February 14, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Do you agree Britain should have a closer relationship with EU?”

Overall, 16,344 votes were cast, with the vast majority of readers, 69 percent (11,205 people), answering “no” against Britain having a closer relationship with the bloc.

Whereas 31 percent (5,035 people) said “yes” in support of closer ties, and a further 104 people said they did not know either way.

Thousands of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on Brexit.

Most readers argued against Britain forming a closer relationship with the EU, with username Virago declaring: “No we are close enough.”

Similarly, username the man with no name said: “We’re already too close.”

Another, username Tunnicliffe said: “No way should the UK have closer ties with the UK EU, we voted to leave the organisation to be independent and without them interfering in our governance.”

And username MissingEUAlready2 agreed: “We need to distance ourselves from the EU.”


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Meanwhile, username proud brit said: “Absolutely not. We voted to leave, we should be more distant if anything.”

And username David17 added: “No – we voted out and thus should it remain.”

However, other readers commented that Britain should consider a closer relationship with the continent, like username Inspector Corner of The Yard, who commented: “I’m all for close relationships with Europe but not the EU.”

Similarly, username JohnCh said: “Having a closer relationship, for trade is important – however we must keep away from their political and legal systems.”

Username SanjayP agreed, writing: “As long as it is restricted to trade on an equal footing and no rule-taking from the EU.”

And username leafspot added: “To our neighbours, European countries, yes, absolutely.”

A minority of readers said they believe Britain will benefit from a closer relationship with the EU. Username oldtomcat remarked: “Of course. Everything else is a bad case of self-harm.”

Likewise, username RussBiker said: “Going for growth – of course – it is still our nearest largest market.”

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