politics

Labour will vote for Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, Keir Starmer announces


Labour will back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal despite its many flaws, Keir Starmer has said.

Mr Johnson said the deal reached with the European Union will help protect jobs and provide certainty to businesses.

Mr Starmer was less than generous about that “thin ” arrangement – but he said the British people “would never forgive” them if they allowed no deal to go ahead.

But he stressed “responsibility for this deal lies at the door of No10”.

The Prime Minister said the agreement resolves the European question which has “bedevilled” British politics for generations.

Earlier in a Downing Street press conference Mr Johnson said the UK had managed to “take back control” as promised in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Mr Starmer said abstaining wasn’t an option.

He said: “When this deal comes before parliament, Labour will accept it and vote for it.

“The choice is either this deal or no deal, and this deal is in the national interest”

Directly to Boris Johnson he said: “Up against no-deal, we accept this deal but the consequences of it are yours and yours alone. And we will hold you to account for it, every second you are in power.”



Mr Johnson said his deal delivered on his promises

The Prime Minister said: “We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny. We have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is complete and unfettered.

“From January 1 we are outside the customs union and outside the single market.

“British laws will be made solely by the British Parliament interpreted by British judges sitting in UK courts and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will come to an end.”

But Mr Starmer said the deal didn’t match the PM’s rhetoric.

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.”

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: “We have finally found an agreement.

“It was a long and winding road, but we have got a good deal to show for it.

“It is fair, it is a balanced deal, and it is the right and responsible thing to do for both sides.”

She said the deal meant “EU rules and standards will be respected” with “effective tools to react” if the UK side tries to undercut Brussels to seek a competitive advantage.

There will be a five-and-a-half year transition period for the fishing industry, she indicated.

And co-operation will continue on issues including climate change, energy, security and transport.

Mrs von der Leyen said she felt “quiet satisfaction” and “relief” that a deal had been concluded.

“It is time to leave Brexit behind, our future is made in Europe,” she added.





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