How ironic! Brexit-blocking Starmer pushes for 0% VAT – only achievable thanks to EU exit

Keir Starmer: 'This is the guy who wanted a second referendum'

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Labour has proposed introducing a windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas producers to fund the reduction of the average household energy bill to £200. The £6.6billion plan would include removing VAT on domestic energy bills for one year, the Guardian reports.

But Brexit campaigners have insisted this could not be done were the UK still a member of the EU.

Martin Daubney, the Deputy Leader of Reclaim and former MEP, highlighted that Brexiteers had long touted removing VAT on energy costs as a Brexit-bonus.

In a post on Twitter, he wrote: “Labour want to remove VAT on domestic fuel, something Brexiteers argued for years would be a clear benefit of Leaving the EU.

“Now both Sir Keir and Rachel Reeves – who tried to cancel Brexit – are making zero percent VAT a policy, which Britain could never have done as an EU member.”

Ms Reeves, the Shadow Chancellor, also an opponent of Brexit, said Labour would “reform our broken energy system”.

Mr Daubney joked that this has only become a policy of the Labour Party thanks to Brexit, which it opposed.

He wrote: “The next time a Remoaner says to you ‘name one clear benefit of leaving the EU!’, you can reply: ‘The ability to cut VAT on domestic fuel to 0 percent which is now a Labour policy.’”

After voting against Brexit in 2016, Sir Keir, then the Shadow Brexit Secretary, contradicted his leader, Jeremy Corbyn, by insisting that “Brexit can be stopped”.

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He told Sky News in November 2018: “[Labour would] vote on the [Brexit] deal according to our six tests, and if the deal goes down we’ll call for a general election.

“If that doesn’t happen all options are on the table, including the option of a public vote.”

Earlier that year, he argued that the UK should effectively remain permanently in the EU’s customs union, despite the claim from many Brexiteers that this equated to remaining a member of the bloc.

He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “The customs arrangements at the moment are hardwired into the membership treaty, so I think everybody now recognises there is going to have to be a new [UK-EU] treaty.

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“It will do the work of the customs union, so it is a customs union.”

He added: “But will it do the work of the current customs union? Yes, that’s the intention.”

Later, he supported calls for a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

It was not until May 2020, after he had attained position of Labour leader, that Sir Keir said the Brexit debate was “over”.

At this time, he said Labour would not attempt to rejoin the EU if he became Prime Minister.

Mr Daubney was not alone in suggesting it was ironic Labour backed a policy made possible only because of Brexit.

Franco Volpe wrote on Twitter: “Funny isn’t it how anti-Brexit folk are calling for something ONLY possible because of Brexit.”

Others suggested the claim had been overdone, noting that Spain recently cut its VAT tax rate on electricity bills form 21 percent to 10 percent despite being a member of the EU.

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