Keir Starmer tells Sunak to ignore Brexiteer Tory MPs and roll over to EU's demands in talks
Sir Keir Starmer spoke in Belfast about the importance of the Government ending ongoing negotiations about Brexit
Sir Keir Starmer has demanded that Rishi Sunak ignore hardline Brexiteer Conservatives and compromise on the EU's demands in negotiations.
The Labour leader spoke in Belfast at Queen’s University ahead of visiting local businesses in the area.
He said that Labour would support the Tories if they can secure an agreement with the EU on reform of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Starmer also urged Rishi Sunak to face down hardline Brexiteers in the Tory European Research Group (ERG) if they tried to block a deal.
“Whatever political cover you need, whatever mechanisms in Westminster you require, if it delivers for our national interest and the people of Northern Ireland, we will support you,” he said in a message to the Prime Minister.
“The time for action on the Protocol is now. The time to stand up to the ERG is now. The time to put Northern Ireland above a Brexit purity cult, which could never be satisfied, is now.”
The comments will likely anger Brexiteers in Parliament and be seen as rolling over to Brussels.
Elsewhere, Starmer said there was a “small window of opportunity” to resolve Protocol issues before the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in April.
“We’ve got to use the anniversary to fix minds, get the country and its political process moving forward again – deliver for the people of Northern Ireland,” he said.
It comes one day after London Mayor Sadiq Khan tore into the Government’s “denial” over the damage caused by Brexit.
In a speech on Thursday, the Mayor of London called for the UK to have more alignment with Europe and for Britain to rejoin the single market.
He said: “I simply can’t keep quiet about the immense damage Brexit is doing.
“Ministers seem to have developed selective amnesia when it comes to one of the root causes of our problems.
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