Keir Starmer calls for a ‘national consensus’ on coronavirus exit strategy
- Credit: PA
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on a 'national consensus' towards plans to get the country out of the coronavirus lockdown.
Sir Keir urged Boris Johnson to work with Labour and others opposition parties to devise an exit strategy.
He told ITV's Good Morning Britain (GMB): 'I've been calling for an exit strategy discussion for some considerable period because these are the things we need to discuss.'
You may also want to watch:
The Labour leader insisted any exit plan should prioritise workers' safety, adding that wearing face masks may be part of an eventual strategy.
- 1 Betty Boothroyd delivers scathing assessment of Boris Johnson's government
- 2 Boris Johnson 'plans to resign' in six months because he can't live on £150k salary
- 3 Government told to publish impact assessments for Boris Johnson's 'Narnia' deal with EU
- 4 Brexiteer admits 'Australia-style deal' term designed to 'pull wool over voters' eyes'
- 5 Remainers blamed for Boris Johnson's inability to secure Brexit deal
- 6 Theresa May brands Michael Gove's no-deal Brexit statement 'utter rubbish'
- 7 ERG MP says Boris Johnson should consider cutting ties with Church of England following Brexit row
- 8 Boris Johnson told to apologise for incompetence in delivering his 'oven-ready' Brexit deal
- 9 Labour MP calls Dan Wootton a 'complete and utter nutcase' following Covid-19 herd immunity comment
- 10 Leaked government dossier warns of army street patrols if second Covid-19 wave and no-deal Brexit hit UK at same time
He said: 'I sense that people are really worried about the lifting of the lockdown. They're really worried about going back to work. They need a high level of reassurance.'
He also called on the government to listen to trade union concerns over draft plans issued by Downing Street on how to ease lockdown restrictions.
He said: 'The point that trade unions have raised is safety at work and there was a consultation document the government put out last weekend which was pretty vague, and it needs strengthening.
'That's why one of the principles I've set out today is a national safety standard.
'I think people will want to know if I'm going back to work, is it a safe environment, what's being done about social distancing, what are the hand-washing facilities, if I need protective equipment am I going to get it?'
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) - representing more than fifty unions - said the government's latest suggestions for a return-to-work plan failed to ensure workers had access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The federation said the advice to businesses on how to enforce social distancing measures was also ambiguous.
TUC deputy secretary Paul Nowak told GMB presenters it was essential the government gets its exit strategy messaging right.
He said: 'I think it's right the government are talking about a return to work but they've got to do it in the right way.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.