Labour have said that its government would remain in the customs union post Brexit.
The shift in policy will be confirmed in a speech by leader Jeremy Corbyn later today (February 26), with the opposition leader set to outline the benefits to EU nationals and the UK.
Bold new agreements’
Sir Keir warned Prime Minister Theresa May “crunch time” was coming, as MPs geared up to vote on her policy of staying out of the customs union when the UK leaves the EU next March so that the UK can strike its own trade deals.
Labour leader Mr Corbyn is due to make a speech on Monday setting out his party’s position.
Labour has previously said it wants the UK to retain the “benefits” of the customs union and the single market without saying how that would be achieved.
Sir Keir said being in a customs union permanently was the “the only way realistically to get tariff free access,” which was “really important for our manufacturing base” and the only way to avoid the return of a “hard border” in Northern Ireland.
He said Britain was more likely to strike new deals if it works “jointly with the EU”, adding: “We all want to do bold new trade agreements but we would be better off doing that with the EU.”