Keir Starmer: No deal on Brexit is not an option

Posted On: 
16th October 2017

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has torn into the Government over its ‘no deal’ Brexit preparations, calling ministers "too weak" to reach an agreement with the EU.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said Labour will "protect" Britain from crashing out of the EU without a deal
Credit: 
PA Images

In an article for PoliticsHome he said crashing out of the bloc without a deal was an “increasing prospect” and a “very real cause for concern”.

Accusing those entertaining a ‘no deal’ outcome as “working against” the national interest, Mr Starmer pledged that Labour would step in and “protect” the UK.

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It follows John McDonnell’s declaration yesterday that Labour would put aside party differences and force the Government to make a success of Brexit negotiations.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the Shadow Chancellor said he would "not countenance" leaving the bloc without negotiating a new trading relationship.

His intervention came after Theresa May said this week that the Government was setting aside money to prepare for a possible 'no deal' scenario.

Mr Starmer is the latest top figure to warn that such an outcome would face fierce opposition in Parliament.

He wrote: “The unpalatable truth is that our government is now too weak and divided to negotiate what is best for Britain. Self-interest around the cabinet table now trumps the national interest…

“That is why we have tabled amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill, designed to protect Britain from a no deal scenario and ensure that the UK can agree sensible, appropriate and workable transitional arrangements with the EU sooner rather than later… 

“If Theresa May cannot act in the national interest, then Labour will.”