Brexit: Keir Starmer ‘frustrated’ negotiations says Rudd
Brexit talks failed to reach an agreement yet again yesterday evening as negotiators left discussions empty handed. The European Parliament said talks needed to have ended on Sunday in order to push a deal through the required parliaments by December 31. A deal now rests on Brussels committing to a “substantial shift”, it has been suggested, with key issues still surrounding fishing rights and a so-called level-playing field.
Despite the deadline date having been pushed back on numerous occasion, reports indicate that there is likely to be a decision before Christmas on whether or not a deal can be reached.
And although the prolonged talks suggest an “eleventh hour” deal will be reached, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously committed the UK with “confidence” to a no deal exit.
Yet in doing this, Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University, told Express.co.uk that Mr Johnson risks playing straight into the hands of Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer.
The opposition leader has said he would push his cabinet to support any deal the Prime Minister returned to the House of Commons with, in what has been interpreted as Labour’s proving it accepts the Brexit vote.
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However, if no deal is pushed, Sir Keir will gain considerable political capital.
As Prof Bale explained: “No deal might be the worst of all worlds for the country but probably not for Keir Starmer.
“It would remove any dilemma about whether to vote for or abstain on a deal.
“And, it would allow him to lay into the Government big time for not delivering what it promised voters all along.”
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According to the BBC, Whitehall sources have said that it is “increasingly likely” that the UK will leave the transition period without a free trade agreement with the EU.
This means that on the turn of 2021, both sides will trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.
Sir Keir earlier this month signalled he was planning to order Labour MPs to back a Brexit deal.
While he would look at the details of an agreement before deciding whether to pledge his party’s support, Sir Keir said: “If the choice is a deal or no deal, then a deal is obviously in the national interest.”
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Reports, however, have suggested that many in the party say Sir Keir is set on backing any deal.
It has fissured an already festering wound following the suspension of former leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Most of the shadow cabinet are made up of Remainers, with many having previously championed a second referendum, including Sir Keir who was considered one of the leading architects of the People’s Vote cause.
Labour MPs are poised to scupper Sir Keir’s plans as up to 60 backbenchers are threatening to rebel against their leader and abstain from a vote.
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According to The Guardian, Sir Keir might be swayed, after a shadow cabinet minister told the publication there was a “feeling” the leader’s mind could be changed.
Paul Embery, a leading trade unionist and Labour member, told this publication that any move from Sir Keir to renounce his recognition of the historic 2016 vote and move closer to Brussels would immediately lose him swathes of support.
He said: “I think any attempt by the Labour Party to rejoin the EU I think will be absolutely disastrous, I think it’d be fatal.
“For the foreseeable future, a good number of years, the Labour Party has got to accept that we’re out of the EU and there’s no going back in.
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“And so everyone in the party has got to get that message.
“There are people in the party who are fanatically pro-EU, and it will go against everything that they believe in to accept that we’re out and we’re staying out, but they’ve got to.
“If they’re serious about reengaging those lost Red Wall voters they’ve got to.
“And there’s no room for self-indulgence on this.
“We’re out of the EU, we’ve got to stay out of the EU, and any policy trying to get us back in would be a suicide mission.”