Despite Jeremy Corbyn being reported in a German magazine this weekend saying that Brexit can’t be stopped, this morning in a crunch week for Brexit, Keir Starmer insisted Labour policy had not changed from what was agreed at the party conference this autumn.
The Shadow Brexit Secretary told the BBC Today Programme and Sky News this morning that the Labour Party position remained that any deal proposed by Theresa May would not be automatically backed by Labour if it was a damaging deal for the country and did not pass the ‘six tests’ of promises that Tory ministers had made on Brexit not leaving the country worse off.
Starmer told the Today Programme that “all options remain on the table including the option of a second vote” if all other eventualities including going back to the negotiating table or calling another general election had been exhausted.
He said that he was sceptical that May could negotiate a deal that made sense for Britain with the divisions she faced within her own party.
“The problem the Prime Minister has got is she is unable to negotiate in the national interest because she has to look over her shoulder,” said the Shadow Brexit Secretary, “she has neither the backing of parliament nor her party.”
Theresa May faces a last ditch attempt to negotiate her Brexit plan which her Conservative colleagues have done their best to torpedo.
Following the resignation of his Hard Brexiter brother Boris Johnson, Jo Johnson resigned as Transport Secretary on Friday, warning that his government’s course on Brexit would leave the UK “economically weakened with no say in the EU rules it must follow,” with the only other option a “no-deal Brexit” which would “inflict untold damage on our nation”.
May has ruled out the public being able to have the final say on the Brexit deal, and insists that Parliament will only get a vote on whether to pass her Brexit deal – opposed by many Brexiters as UK would be bound by EU rules it has no input into – or an economically devastating no deal.
“I am confident the majority of parliament would not countenance no deal,” Starmer told the BBC this morning.
And asked whether Brexit could be stopped he appeared to contradict the Labour Leader’s comments in Der Spiegel, telling Sky News: “Brexit can be stopped.”
He set out the Labour Party position again: “But the real question is, what are the decisions we’re going to face over the next few weeks and months?
“Decision one is on the deal; decision two is – if the deal goes down – should there be a general election?
“And decision three is – if there’s no general election – all options must be on the table, including the option of a public vote.
“That’s the clear position and Jeremy’s signed up to that, I’m signed up to that, and that was the position that was passed at Labour Party conference.”