Keir Starmer: ‘No case for reopening issue of membership of EU’

Keir Starmer is asked for his views on Brexit. Photograph: Sky News.

Keir Starmer is asked for his views on Brexit. Photograph: Sky News. - Credit: Archant

Keir Starmer has rejected suggestions he could support a second referendum on EU membership, despite Boris Johnson's Brexit deal unravelling.

The leader of the opposition was questioned by the media about Labour's position on the European Union as Brexit returned to the headlines following Boris Johnson's call to overrule the Withdrawal Agreement.

Asked if Starmer would make the case for rejoining the EU, he told Sky News: 'I don't think there's a case for reopening the issue of the membership of the EU'.

The leader of the opposition said his focus was on ensuring Boris Johnson got a Brexit deal 'done' as he promised at the last election.

'What the government is proposing is wrong, I think that's plain for everybody to see. But we need to step back here and focus on getting a deal.

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'There's certainly a case to be made that this is all just being used as leverage in the negotiations and that's wrong in principle.

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'Getting a deal is in the national interest, that's what the public want, that's what they were promised. The outstanding issues are not difficult, they can be resolved.

'A deal can be struck in the next few weeks, the issues outstanding are not unsurmountable. To have no deal would be a failure of negotiation, a failure that has to be owned by the prime minister.'

Starmer's comments come after Lib Dem leader Ed Davey also said his focus was on getting a good deal rather than making the case to rejoin the EU.

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