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.
“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.”