Keir Starmer warns Theresa May: Labour will vote down a 'blind Brexit' deal

Posted On: 
7th November 2018

Labour will not vote for a "blind Brexit" which does not make clear what the UK's future relationship with the EU will look like, Keir Starmer has said.

Keir Starmer is in Brussels for talks.
PA Images

The Shadow Brexit Secretary said it was now "crunch time" in the negotiations as he headed for Brussels for talks with EU officials.

Theresa May told her Cabinet yesterday to be on standby for an imminent breakthrough as she hopes to strike a deal within weeks.

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But her hopes of securing Parliamentary backing for her strategy have been dealt a blow after Sir Keir made it clear Labour would probably vote against it.

He said: "Government divisions and delays mean that little time has been spent debating what our future trading and security relationship will be after Brexit. 

"Months of deadlock in Theresa May’s government mean we’re facing continued uncertainty and the prospect of years of further negotiations over our future relationship with the EU. 

"A blind Brexit could prolong business uncertainty and provide insufficient guarantees to protect jobs, the economy and rights. Whether you voted Leave or Remain, nobody voted for the purgatory of permanent negotiations.

"Theresa May and Dominic Raab promised that the Brexit deal put before Parliament will be ‘detailed, precise and substantive’. That is exactly what Labour expects and what I will be discussing in Brussels.

"If the final deal is anything less than the Government has promised, Labour will not support it."

It emerged yesterday that Sir Keir and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell are holding face-to-face talks with Labour MPs who have said they could back the Prime Minister's deal.

Further pressure was heaped on Labour MPs last night when a survey of Momentum members showed 92% of them wanted Labour MPs to vote against the Government on Brexit.

Momentum spokesperson Becky Boumelha said: "Propping up a destructive Tory deal will be Kryptonite to Labour members, and any Labour MP who votes with the Government will have a hard time explaining themselves back in their constituencies."