Sir Keir Starmer has once again contradicted Labour leadership – this time insisting that Brexit can be stopped.
Jeremy Corbyn had previously claimed an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel that he ‘can’t stop’ Brexit and instead urged the Labour Party to ‘recognise the reasons why people voted Leave’.
However Sir Keir, the shadow Brexit secretary, has contradicted the party leadership in an awkward interview with Sky News.
‘Brexit can be stopped,’ he said in response to questions on Corbyn’s remarks. ‘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.’
Corbyn’s position was widely criticised by Remainers and attracted criticism from his own MPs.
‘Labour cannot sit by and allow the choice to be between the economic ruin of a hard Brexit or the loss of sovereignty under Theresa May’s deal, with Britain subjected to EU rules but with no say over them,’ said MP Wes Streeting. ‘As with any fork in the road, there is always the option of turning back home.
It is not the first time that Sir Keir Starmer has had to step in to defuse a row on Brexit prompted by the party’s leadership.
At Labour Party conference his big conference speech overruled comments from shadow chancellor John McDonnell which claimed a People’s Vote under Labour’s rule would not include an option to Remain.