UK's Labour party pledges Brexit rethink

Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer says the party will guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK and deliver a softer exit deal. VIDEO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - "What Labour will do is to scrap the Brexit white paper and draw up new negotiating objectives. We will on day one unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU citizens in this country," said shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer on Tuesday (April 25), putting Britain's EU departure at the centre of the election battle. 

Sir Keir Starmer and his party are campaigning hard to overthrow the incumbent Conservatives come the general election on June 8. 

Said Sir Keir: "It is a rigid approach. It is removing options before we've started - and it's a reckless approach." 

He attacked Prime Minister Theresa May's plans for Brexit negotiations, promising a softer approach, and said the Labour party would prioritise jobs and workers rights, seeking to retain the benefits of the single market and customs union rather than curbing immigration. 

Mrs May has declined to guarantee the right of EU nationals to remain in Britain until she obtains the same commitments on behalf of Britons in Europe. 

That decision has drawn huge criticism from opponents, who say it leaves millions facing uncertain futures. 

The Prime Minister decided to hold a surprise early election last week. 

Pollsters saying it's a foregone conclusion that the Conservatives will win in June. On Tuesday Mrs May was meeting potential supporters in Wales, hoping every seat gained will increase her mandate ahead of negotiations to leave the EU in 2019. 

With just over six weeks of campaigning left, it's clear that Brexit is top of the agenda.