Starmer pledges ‘pragmatic’ approach to nationalisation

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to take a “pragmatic” approach to nationalisation of key industries in a speech made today.

Following a speech in Liverpool this morning, Starmer insisted that his approach to state ownership of rail, energy and water was a “pragmatic approach rather than an ideological one.”

“We can’t be like the Tories – clinging to the old ideas, trapped in our history,” he told delegates.

He said he “agree[s] with what” his shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves outlined earlier today.

This comes after Reeves told the BBC that Labour had binned its Jeremy Corbyn-era pledge to renationalise water, energy and rail companies.

Reeves stressed that she has: “set out fiscal rules that say all spending, all day-to-day spending would be funded by day-to-day tax revenues.”

When pressed on whether or not nationalisation would happen, she went on: “Within our fiscal rules, to be spending billions of pounds on nationalising things, that just doesn’t stack up against our fiscal rules.”

She said that Labour wished to set “out distinct policies under Keir Starmer,” and highlighted how the 2019 plans had: “secured our worst result since 1935.”

Starmer explained today: “Having come through the pandemic, it’s very important we have very, very clear priorities and that’s why we’ve set out fiscal rules already as an Opposition.”

The mission of the next Labour government will be growth” he said, going on: “My approach here is pragmatic, not ideological, my mission is growth and underpinning that mission is a partnership arrangement with business, where the mission is set by an incoming Labour government and we empower business to work with us in delivering on that mission.”

Following Starmer’s announcement, the Trade Unions Congress announced its support for nationalistion, tweeting: “We are now calling for public ownership of energy companies. The energy cap is expected to increase to £3,200, up over 150% in just a year.

“Public ownership would:✅ Reduce bills✅ Speed up energy efficiency improvements to homes✅ Cut carbon emissions faster.”

Momentum, the grassroots left-wing campaign group founded during Corbyn’s leadership, tweeted: “Public support for nationalisation: 🚆Rail: 64%⚡️ Energy: 60%🌊 Water: 50%. This isn’t smart politics. This is neoliberal dogma.”

In his speech today, Starmer also re-affirmed Labour’s commitment to net-zero.

Accusing Conservative leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss of “[raging] against the dying of the Thatcherite light”, he suggested that “state and market, business and worker, the everyday economy and the technological frontier” must all contribute “together, if you want strong, secure and fair growth.”

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