Sir Keir Starmer says Labour is close to ‘backing second referendum’

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Sir Keir Starmer says Labour is close to ‘backing second referendum’

Sir Keir Starmer has said Labour is close to backing a second referendum as other Brexit options are rapidly running out.

Starmer told The Andrew Marr Show this morning Labour is now in ‘phase three’ of its Brexit policy after Theresa May’s deal was defeated on Tuesday and a General Election was ruled out on Wednesday.

Labour’s Brexit chief blamed the Prime Minister for ‘being the block’ by not compromising over No Deal, something Jeremy Corbyn wanted ruled out before he will agree to meet her.

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Starmer said: ‘If she won’t do that (compromise over her red lines), it’s very hard to see where we go from here. That’s why at conference we said, to break the impasse, if we get to an impasse, that’s why you need an option of a public vote.

‘I have said for two years we will faithfully look at any deal that is brought back which is what we did on Tuesday.’

He added: ‘If she stood up on Tuesday [after the meaningful vote] and said she was genuinely now open to looking at other options – but she hasn’t done that. She is the block.’

Starmer also claimed it was ‘inevitable’ the Article 50 would have to be extended and some sort of backstop deal would have to be accepted by the UK.

He added: ‘The 29th of March is 68 days away. We are absolutely not prepared for it. It would be catastrophic.’

The programme featured Brexiteers Dominic Raab and Liam Fox and Remainers Anna Soubry and Hilary Benn.

Leaver, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, said deals were already in place ahead of the scheduled exit on March 29.

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He said: ‘Some countries are worried about a no-deal, but many are in place.’

Fox also claimed MPs would not be allowed to stop the UK leaving the EU.

He said: ‘Parliament does not have the right to hijack Brexit, and in effect, steal the vote from the people.’

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