‘WTF is he doing?’ Labour MPs left baffled by Keir Starmer’s latest Brexit stance

Written by John Ashmore on 8 February 2017 in Diary

When is a concession not a concession? Apparently when it comes to giving MPs a proper say on the Brexit deal.

Labour MPs have questioned their shadow Brexit secretary’s stance on Brexit for the second time in a month.

Keir Starmer greeted a statement from Brexit minister David Jones as a "significant victory for Parliament". But many of his own side thought that it looked more like a restatement of existing policy.

Jones outlined a "deal or no deal" arrangement, where MPs get the Hobson's choice of whatever the Government negotiates or a WTO deal in two years' time.

Downing Street then told journalists that far from a climbdown this was "confirmation of what we've always said".

That left Labour MPs a bit baffled.

One MP texted PoliticsHome editor Kevin Schofield to say: "WTF is Starmer doing? It's over for that guy".

Another quipped: "He must think Leicester hammered Man Utd 0-3 on Sunday too."

Speaking on the Today programme this morning, Starmer explained why he welcomed the government's so-called concession on Article 50: "Yesterday wasn't everything that we wanted - but it was new."

Last month, the shadow Brexit secretary baffled many fellow Remainers by asserting that Theresa May has ruled out a hard Brexit – at the same time as Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister was “determined to use Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven on the shores of Europe”.


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