Keir Starmer said he will whip the Labour Party to back the deal despite the belief a better Brexit trade deal could be struck with the European Union. Sir Keir insisted the party “has to make it work” because of the consequences a no deal scenario would have on the UK economy. Speaking after the agreement with the EU was confirmed, the Labour leader said: “A better deal could have been negotiated but I accept that that option is now gone.
“The chance for renegotiation is over, there are just two paths now left for our country, to move forward with a deal or without one.
“Labour is against no deal, firmly and absolutely and the British people would never forgive us if we enabled a no deal outcome. There are some that argue Labour should be neutral on this issue, to abstain – I do not agree.
“Leadership is about taking the tough decisions in the national interest, it’s about being a serious and responsible Opposition. A Government in waiting.
“This is the deal that Labour will inherit in 2024, it’s something we will build on compared to the chaos of no deal.”
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Sir Keir continued: “The public would expect a Labour Government to make it work, and the EU would expect us to make it work and to use it to protect our shared interests.
At a moment of such national significance, it’s just not credible for Labour to be on the sidelines. And that’s why I can say today that when this deal comes before Parliament, Labour will accept it and vote for it.
“But let me be absolutely clear and say directly to the Government – up against no deal, we accept this deal but the consequences of it are yours and yours alone.
“We will hold you to account for it every second you’re in power for the promises you made, for the promises you break. No longer can you blame somebody else. Responsibility for this deal lays squarely at the door of Number 10.”
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