Scottish Labour at odds with Keir Starmer after openly supporting Brexit extension
Cracks in the Labour's position on Brexit have been exacerbated after its leader in Scotland backed calls for an extension.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said he supported an extension of EU trade talks in light of the Covid-19 crisis, putting his party at odds with UK leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Downing Street has until December 31 to strike a trade deal with the EU.
If no agreement is reached, the UK will be forced to trade with the bloc on World Trade Organisation terms and see tariffs slapped on good crossing the Channel.
Although Sir Keir has come out against a no-deal, he is yet to officially rule out supporting an extension.
You may also want to watch:
He said: "I don’t want an extension, I want a deal.
"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.
- 1 Leave EU website suspended after EU registry blocks move to Ireland
- 2 Comedian wins praise after shaming No 10 during Dancing on Ice appearance
- 3 Boris Johnson blames seafood companies for post-Brexit sales slump
- 4 Television drama to focus on Boris Johnson's first year in Downing Street
- 5 Progressive alliance could see Labour win 351 seats at next election, new analysis reveals
- 6 Michael Gove among 14 Tory MPs revealed to have joined banned Parler app
- 7 Boris Johnson claims Labour supporters using Universal Credit vote to incite hatred
- 8 The Tory MPs who failed to vote against a Universal Credit cut
- 9 Priti Patel fails to appear in Commons to answer questions on missing police records
- 10 UK has highest Covid-19 death rate in world
"Get on and deliver it this week, today, tomorrow, and then we can recall parliament and deal with it."
Scottish Labour has already said it will not adopt Sir Keir's position as it debates a Brexit bill in Holyrood on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Leonard told the Daily Record: "Scottish Labour will be calling for an extension to the Brexit process in today's debate, in light of the escalation of the Covid crisis."
The Scottish Labour leader’s stance echoes the view expressed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who tweeted: "I’m urging the government to officially seek an extension to the Brexit transition period.
"Securing our key supply chains and fighting the coronavirus pandemic requires the full and undivided efforts of ministers more than ever before."
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also called for a prolonging of negotiations.
She said it was "imperative" that Boris Johnson secured an extension.
She wrote: "The new Covid strain - and the various implications of it - means we face a profoundly serious situation, and it demands our 100% attention. It would be unconscionable to compound it with Brexit."
A party source said Scottish Labour had taken the "correct" decision and questioned Sir Keir's approach.
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.