Keir Starmer says Labour will vote for Brexit deal
- Credit: PA
Sir Keir Starmer said Labour will “accept it and vote for it” when the government’s deal with the EU reaches parliament.
Explaining his decision, he said it is not the best deal that was on offer.
He said: “It is not the deal that the government promised – far from it. A better deal could have been negotiated.
“But I accept that option has now gone.”
He added: “At a moment of such national significance, it is not credible for Labour to be on the sidelines.
You may also want to watch:
“That is why I can say today that when this deal comes before parliament, Labour will accept it and vote for it.”
He denied the suggestion the decision to vote for the deal – which he described as “thin” – was to appease large swathes of Brexit-supporting Labour voters at the last general election.
- 1 The Prime Minister is out of his league
- 2 Can King Louis turn back the clock?
- 3 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 4 The cannabis conundrum
- 5 Party politics will not save us from the Tories - we need drastic action
- 6 Why Germany's Greens failed to rise on floods
- 7 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
- 8 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 9 Would Javid have renamed ICU wards 'Drama Queen Zones'?
- 10 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
He said: “These are difficult and tough decisions. But in the end there is only one choice – a binary choice here.
“Either we support the deal or we support the alternative, which is no deal. We have always been against no deal and that is why we will vote for this deal.
“I think many people will see this as a tough but necessary decision on behalf of the Labour Party, the Labour movement and on behalf of our country.”
The Labour leader is at odds with pro-European members of his party who have urged the party to either reject it or abstain on the vote.
Former Downing Street communications chief Alastair Campbell wrote for The New European: "I just cannot for the life of me fathom why anyone would want to co-own this enterprise. If they get a deal it doesn’t even need a vote as they have the mandate already and there will only be one so Johnson can do what he likes to do - theatre and game-playing politics.
"If he gets a deal it is almost certain to get through without Labour votes.
"So let them have it on those terms. Their Brexit. Their deal. Their Covid. And they have ballsed up the lot of it. Then get on with preparing a modern agenda for a better future and do not let them put an albatross that they killed around your neck."
Richard Corbett, former leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party, meanwhile argued it puts the party "on the wrong side of public opinion".
He said the move would create new tensions in the party and that endorsing the deal would be support for the same aspects of Brexit "that we so strongly criticised for the last three years."
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.