Andrew Marr: Starmer is 'utterly determined' to stick to anti-immigration and pro-Brexit politics

22 November 2022, 18:18

Tonight with Andrew Marr
Tonight with Andrew Marr. Picture: LBC

By Emma Soteriou

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is "utterly determined" to stick to anti-immigration and pro-Brexit politics, Andrew Marr has said.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Opening LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr, the presenter unpacked Sir Keir's call for a move away from "immigration dependency" in the UK's workforce.

"It's going to be very tough," Andrew said.

"Today, Rishi Sunak warned the cabinet of the challenging winter ahead.

"'Challenging' is a word politicians use when they mean eye-wateringly awful.

"The autumn statement with its package of tax rises and inflation-based spending squeezes will be the subject of Commons votes later tonight. Let's see what happens.

"Meanwhile, that chirpy international body the OECD announced that the UK would suffer a worse downturn than any of the other major developed nations.

"The RNT announced more strikes over Christmas and New Year, joining the border staff. Tough times.

"But there is absolutely no point in whinging or moaning: the question is what are we going to do to get the country moving?

"We know the Tory plan. But, with Labour a mere 20 points ahead in the opinion polls, the question of what would they’d do is now almost as important.

"And on cue today Keir Starmer gave a speech about his plans for growth to the CBI.

"As we heard on the show yesterday, they want more immigration. The Labour leader bluntly told them they weren't going to get it."

Watch Tonight with Andrew Marr exclusively on Global Player every Monday to Thursday from 6pm to 7pm

Sir Keir Starmer wants to wean UK off 'immigration dependency'

Andrew continued: "As if to make his point for him, the one time Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, in whose shadow cabinet Starmer once served, instantly attacked him over that immigration line, tweeting: 'Without immigration, the trains wouldn't run businesses wouldn't function and the NHS wouldn't exist. We will not end cheap labour by dividing workers and belittling migrants contribution.' 

"Actually, Starmer did not belittle migrants, rather the reverse.

"But behind the scenes some Labour MPs are asking what the difference really is between the Conservative plan to get us out of this mess, and the Starmer one. 

"I don't think he cares.

You can also listen to the podcast Tonight with Andrew Marr only on Global Player.

"He’s listening to, and being advised by, a range of figures from the Blair and Brown years and seems utterly determined to stick to a hardline anti-immigration, pro-Brexit politics.

"This, he said, would be a winter like no other; but business would get a new industrial Council, a sovereign wealth fund, the scrapping of business rates and a skills revolution.

"Now, if I’d had a hot dinner for every time a British politician promised a new skills revolution… well I wouldn't be able to fit into the trousers I’m wearing this evening. Or the shirt.

"But the Labour leader sounded as if he meant it. He’s put the former home secretary Lord Blunkett in charge, and David Blunkett has produced a report on the new policy."