THE SNP have slated Keir Starmer for embracing the "wrecking ball" of Brexit in his new year speech, suggesting Labour are now just a "carbon-copy" of the Tories.

Starmer said he wanted to embrace the 'take back control' message of the Leave campaign and spread control out of Westminster as he addressed an audience in east London on Thursday.

He confessed to having sympathy with the "basic case" presented by Leave supporters while he was campaigning for Remain and said the "centrepiece" of a Labour government would be a "Take Back Control Bill". 

Meanwhile, he claimed the reasons behind why people voted Yes in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum were similar to the reasons people voted to leave the EU. 

The SNP's Depute Leader Keith Brown said the only conclusion that could be drawn from the speech was that the next General Election would be a choice between "two Tory Prime Ministers".

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Brown said: "Today's intervention from Keir Starmer promised a decade of renewal but the reality is another decade of crippling austerity for Scotland from Westminster.

"The leader of the Official Opposition doesn’t only embrace the wrecking ball that is Brexit - he’s now stealing their campaign slogans. Meanwhile, Brexit is hammering Scotland’s economy in the midst of the deepest cost of living crisis in decades.

"Labour are now carbon-copy Tories on Brexit, the co-conspirators to hush up the true cost of Brexit. Today's speech only confirms that the next General Election is a choice between two Tory Prime Ministers.

"Keir Starmer did finally acknowledge why people in Scotland voted Yes in 2014, yet he and his party continue to deny the democratic mandate for a fresh vote on independence.

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"That's exactly why Scotland needs the full powers of independence - to guarantee we get the governments we vote for every time and to deliver on our priorities and our values, which clearly differ from those at Westminster."

Starmer meanwhile insisted his party had changed under his leadership during the speech as he claimed “people know we care” and “they can now see a party that is both competent and compassionate.”

At the same time, he accused Rishi Sunak and the Tory party of “sticking plaster politics” and slammed a “short-term mindset” at Westminster as he pledged to "deliver on Britain's call for change". 

Sunak was criticised for being light on detail in his own speech in Stratford, in which he promised to halve inflation, deal with NHS waiting lists, and tackle small boat crossings in the Channel.