Labour vows to do ‘whatever it takes’ to prevent no-deal Brexit

The Canary

Labour has warned Boris Johnson that it is ready to take action through the courts if he tries to push through a no-deal Brexit against the will of Parliament.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the party would do “whatever it takes” to prevent the UK leaving the EU at the end of the month without an agreement.

Addressing the Co-operative Party conference in Glasgow, Sir Keir said that if the Prime Minister was unable to secure a deal at next week’s crucial EU summit, he must comply with the so-called Benn Act and seek a further delay.

“If he can’t – or I should say won’t – get a deal we will take whatever steps are necessary to prevent our country crashing out of the EU without a deal,” he said.

“If no deal is secured by this time next week, Boris Johnson must seek and accept an extension. That’s the law. No ifs, no buts.

“And if he doesn’t, we’ll enforce the law – in the courts and in Parliament. Whatever it takes, we will prevent a no-deal Brexit.”

Sir Keir poured scorn on suggestions Mr Johnson could get round the law by accompanying a request for an extension with a second letter to the EU saying he did not really want one.

“That’s the equivalent of attaching a post-it note to divorce papers saying ‘Only kidding’. It’s a ridiculous idea.”

With EU and UK officials continuing to negotiate over the weekend, Sir Keir said that if the Prime Minister did succeed in getting an agreement, Labour would demand it was put to the public in a fresh referendum.

“If Boris Johnson does manage to negotiate a deal then we will insist that it is put back to the people in a confirmatory vote,” he said.

With Parliament set to sit in a special emergency Saturday session at the end of the week, Sir Keir said it appeared any agreement Mr Johnson was able to negotiate would be “even worse” than Theresa May’s rejected deal.

“No level playing field protections. No customs union. A green light to deregulate. That kind of deal can never be one Labour supports,” he said.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Joining the bandwagon rather late, aren’t they? The SNP – in particular Joanna Cherry QC, MP – already have this in hand before the Court of Session in Edinburgh, and have had for some time. The Court of Session, by the way, is constitutionally at least the equal of the High Court in England, and the next level up for appeals from there is the Supreme Court of the UK.

    2. This is why Labour are unlikely to win the election, because the right-wingers would rather lose it than win under Corbyn. Now they’ve persuaded him to do exactly what he shouldn’t have done, and ignore Labour’s own manifesto pledge and treat the referendum result like we voted to bring back smallpox.

      But what if he does win and his opponents won’t accept the result? What if they refuse to sit in parliament until the result is overturned? Your refusal to accept democracy will be the start of something dark.

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