Keir Starmer rejects Labour supporting calls for a Brexit extension

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer reads through his notes shortly before delivering a virtual speech

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer reads through his notes shortly before delivering a virtual speech - Credit: PA

Labour leader Keir Starmer has rejected supporting calls for a Brexit extension during the coronavirus crisis - saying that he wants Boris Johnson to deliver his deal.

Asked if he would support an extension, he said he wants Boris Johnson to prove he can 'get Brexit done' with his 'oven-ready deal'.

He explained: “I don’t want an extension – I want the deal. The prime minister promised a deal. He said he had an “oven-ready deal”. He needs to get on and deliver that.

“And just delaying it further isn’t going to help with the great uncertainty there already is for businesses. So, I say to the prime minister, get on and deliver the deal that you promised. Get on and deliver it this week, today, tomorrow, and then we can recall parliament and deal with it.”

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He added: “Businesses I’ve spoken to in Scotland and actually across the UK are tearing their hair out on that uncertainty because the government is saying to them ‘prepare for this, prepare for that’. But they don’t know what they’re preparing for.

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“Their strong message to me is get the deal done. That’s what you promised. End the uncertainty and let us get on with the preparation. They’re equally clear that no deal would be a very bad outcome and a complete failure of the government.”

A growing number of politicians are now calling for an extended transition period - with voices including senior Tory MPs and Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

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