‘Deafeningly silent’: Keir Starmer refuses to confirm if Labour will vote for a Brexit deal

·News Reporter
·2-min read
Boris Johnson accused Keir Starmer of being "deafeningly silent" over Brexit. (PA)
Boris Johnson accused Keir Starmer of being 'deafeningly silent' over Brexit. (PA)

Keir Starmer has been accused of being “deafeningly silent” on whether Labour would vote for any EU trade deal Boris Johnson might conclude.

As the government attempts a last-ditch move at securing a trade deal with the European Union, the prime minister said Starmer was being ambiguous about whether Labour would support a Conservative deal.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), Johnson said he “got the impression” Starmer would vote for it, but added that the leader of the opposition “remains deafeningly silent on what he really thinks about a Brexit deal”.

Watch: A good Brexit trade deal is ‘there to be done’

Starmer told Johnson: “If there is a deal, and I hope there’s a deal, then my party will vote in the national interest, not on party-political lines, as he is doing.”

His remarks follow speculation about how Labour would vote should the prime minister finalise an agreement with the EU.

Whether a trade deal is struck with Brussels remains to be seen, with warnings that one may not be secured at all.

On Wednesday, ahead of his flight to meet president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Johnson said EU demands over fishing and standards were unacceptable.

Criticising Johnson’s past comments about the ease of getting an agreement with the EU, Starmer said at PMQs: “The prime minister said he had a deal, he didn’t. He said he would protect jobs, he didn’t. He said he’d prepare for any outcome, he hasn’t.

“Whatever may happen in the next few days, there’s no doubting his incompetence has held Britain back.

Read more: Post-Brexit trade deal 'will only happen with movement from EU side', says Gove

“So will he end this charade, end the uncertainty, get the deal he promised, and allow the country to move on?”

Johnson replied: “He remains deafeningly silent on what he really thinks about a Brexit deal. While he puts a cold towel round his head lost in thought and tries to work out what his position is… we’re getting on with the work of government.”

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