The result of the referendum cannot be ignored, but a bespoke deal with the EU has to be pursued if we are to avoid a shrinking economy
The idea ought to be too obvious to need repeating. But Labour has been known to ignore the inconvenient truths of economic management. So Keir Starmer was right to assert, in his speech to the Liverpool Labour party, that the overwhelming priority of the government he leads will be sustained economic growth. Without it, Labour would be able to finance few, if any, of its proposed reforms. What is more, the optimism that accompanies economic growth is essential to the promotion of greater economic equality – the socialist aspiration that dare not speak its name.
Yet three weeks before the Liverpool speech, Sir Keir used an address to the Centre for European Reform to reject categorically the suggestion that a Labour government should attempt to negotiate some form of customs union with the single market – a prospect of economic expansion so exciting that even the announcement that talks were being considered would stimulate a sudden surge in capital investment.