Keir Starmer: ‘Tory Brexiteers are living in a fantasy world’

Unearthed meets Labour's shadow Brexit secretary to discuss the EU, the environment, and how he would approach trade negotiations with Trump

It’s been a big few months for Labour and for the man with arguably the biggest job in the shadow cabinet, Keir Starmer.

After the results of the snap general election in June, Labour is tantalisingly and surprisingly close to power and the party’s stance on Britain’s decision to leave the EU has never been under more scrutiny.

In all this, the former human rights lawyer has gone from being something of an afterthought in the Brexit debate to being one of the key players.

Unearthed went to Starmer’s office in Whitehall just a few days before he was due to deliver a major speech at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, to try to get a better understanding of what a Labour Brexit would look like.

“No deal is not viable,” says Starmer, when addressing Theresa May’s former favourite soundbite.

“If we literally reached no deal, it means we’ve got no deal on trade. No deal on security, no framework for dealing with our colleagues on important counter-terrorism work going on 24/7. It’s unthinkable we could put ourselves in that position. It means we’ve got no deal on Northern Ireland and we don’t know what’s going to happen at the border.

“That’s completely unacceptable. And if we’ve got no deal, we’ve got no flights because the aviation framework is an agreed framework with the EU. This talk about no deal has to be seen in its proper context. No deal is an unthinkable place for us to be and that’s why it’s bad for us and bad for the EU.”

But what if Labour came to power and was unable to negotiate a trade deal with Brussels?

“If the Labour party comes to power and we are negotiating, we would be able to reach a deal,” he argues.

“I have been going backwards and forwards from Brussels pretty well every month since I’ve been in post. I am convinced that with a Labour approach we would be able to reach a deal and that’s what we would be focusing on.”

Comments
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AlavanZambia
AlavanZambia

Starmer is, of course, correct. However, his own party is hardly any better - unable, like the Conservatives, to deal decisively with the rift between pro- (eg Starmer) and anti- (eg Corbyn) EU factions. Had Labour - Corbyn in particular - campaigned more strongly last year in favour of remain the UK might not be in the position it is in today. Which is not, of course, to deny that the vast majority of the blame rests with the Conservatives, for whom successive leaders have put party before country since Thatcher was ousted in 1990....just as May is continuing to do. Of course, it could be worse (and may yet be): if Boris were PM we'd have personal ambition coming before both country and party.

tolexj
tolexj

Ohh Fantasy is temporary :D

anilsen
anilsen

This is not really good :D LOL

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