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Keir Starmer, Labour Leader, Expresses Satisfaction with Macron Talks Outcome

Sir Keir signalled what trajectory his party would follow, should Labour win the next general election, which is due by January 2025.

Britain’s opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer said he had a “very political discussion” with French President Emmanuel Macron in a bid to strengthen relations between the two countries, if Labour wins the next general election.

In the latest stop of his international engagements, the Labour leader has met with his French counterpart in Paris, where they discussed a “wide range of topics.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Sir Keir said it was an opportunity to “look at future prosperity, future security” and discuss “pressing issues” for both leaders.

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He signalled what trajectory his party would follow, should Labour win the next general election, which is due by January 2025.

“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,” Sir Keir said.

Although he didn’t specify whether he thought Mr. Macron would rather see Labour in Downing Street. Sir Keir said it was important to that they got to know one another and that he was “very pleased with the outcome.”

During his visit, the Labour leader was accompanied by the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and shadow foreign secretary David Lammy.

All three politicians have made similar statements on strengthening the ties between UK and France. Sir Keir made a point of his ambition to make Brexit work for Britain, while his ministers echoed the sentiment.
“The next Labour government will work with our allies in Europe so we can bring growth back to Britain,” said Ms. Reeves.
Last week, Sir Keir told the Financial Times that he would seek to rework the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), an accord signed by Boris Johnson’s government. The agreement sets out arrangements between the EU and the UK in such areas as trade, energy, and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The agreement, which Sir Keir called “far too thin,” will be subject to review at the start of 2026.

If by then, Labour wins power, Sir Keir said he would try to use the review as an opportunity to get “a much better deal” for the UK.

This could be challenging for his government, according to a London-based think-tank, UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE).

A report (pdf) by UKICE suggested that the agreement review is meant to be a mere “short, technical exercise,” far from Labour’s ambition to introduce a veterinary agreement to reduce border checks on animals and food, and other additions.

“The kinds of agreements Labour is seeking often entail long, technical negotiations which can take years to conclude,” the report suggested. This could cost Britain a political say in regulations with the EU.

Given the EU’s overall satisfaction with the current TCA and low levels of trust in the UK after Brexit, it would be challenging for Labour to introduce significant changes to the accord.

Prior to his meeting with the president, Sir Keir attended a breakfast with French business leaders.

“My Labour government will provide the economic stability needed for international business to invest in the UK,” the Labour leader vowed after the meeting.

The Élysée Palace said Mr. Macron and Sir Keir, whose meeting went behind closed doors, discussed the economy and energy security, among other issues.

Mr. Starmer is not the first opposition leader to meet with a foreign head of state ahead of a national election. In 1996, Sir Tony Blair met with U.S. President Bill Clinton before entering Downing Street. David Cameron won the 2015 election after he had a

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