Keir Starmer has given us yet another reason to distrust him:
So the man who said he was a strong Remainer
1. Destroyed the possibility of Corbyn’s very soft Brexit and now
2. Whips for Johnson’s hard Brexit, without even knowing the details! https://t.co/1grWdryEZs
— Tom London (@TomLondon6) December 24, 2020
Yes, that’s right. The politician who demanded that Labour pursue a policy that would put the UK through another EU referendum – and that lost the 2019 general election – has performed a complete about-face and was backing Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal before he had even read it.
That doesn’t seem very “forensic” to This Writer!
The Brexit trade deal has more than 1,200 pages to read through.
A legal professional would want to forensically exam every page, every single detail, no matter how fine the small print is, before signing up for it.
What’s Starmer’s excuse?
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) December 26, 2020
Sir Keir Starmer supporting the government before even reading the agreement doesn’t sound very forensic.
At least wait for a debrief from folk who have read it.
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) December 24, 2020
Here’s the proof:
Labour accepts this deal and we will vote for it.
We must now build a better future for our country and make Britain the best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in. pic.twitter.com/4pRNNEMqUo
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) December 24, 2020
That statement was made a matter of hours after Johnson announced that a deal had been reached; he would not have had time to read the 1,200-page agreement and its 800 pages of appendices.
It is impossible for those of us in the know not to say “we told you so”…
I'm seeing A LOT of people surprised at Keir Starmer enthusiastically backing Boris Johnson's brexit deal.
It's been apparent since April that he's completely shed his pro EU stance that won him so much support.
His decision to back without reading it just proves this.
— Alex Tiffin – FND, BPD (@RespectIsVital) December 24, 2020
They never cared about stopping Brexit, it was just a wedge issue to get rid of the left. If you believe they acted in good faith you’ve learned a tough lesson about how they operate. It’s all about power to them. Nothing to do with principles. They stand for nothing
— Matt Zarb-Cousin (@mattzarb) December 24, 2020
But the question now arises: should Labour back Johnson’s deal, that has cost hundreds of billions of pounds and promises nothing more than to make us all worse-off?
And the answer is obvious: no.
The deal will go through; the Conservatives have a very comfortable majority in the House of Commons, thanks to Starmer’s own daft election policy. It doesn’t need Labour’s support.
People’s defence for Starmer supporting the deal is that the Tories have a majority.
Quite. So leave it for them to pass this bad deal.
Keir should reject it & have nothing to do with it. He should make the case as to why Labour voted against. He’s a barrister, after all.
— James Foster (@JamesEFoster) December 24, 2020
And of course, Starmer has outed himself as a hypocrite, considering the number of times he has told his MPs to abstain on Tory policies.
Starmer literally just said with a straight face that abstaining is a dereliction of leadership.
— Shlomo. (@hapoelorient) December 24, 2020
It raises once again what has become a perennial question:
What does Keir Starmer actually believe in?
— The Pileus (@thepileus) December 24, 2020
Perhaps in an attempt to head off criticism, deputy leader Angela Rayner has tried to say Labour will vote for the deal, but won’t take responsibility for it – and will hold the Tories to account for broken promises:
A Brexit deal is in our national interest. Against no deal, Labour accepts and will vote for it.
But responsibility for the deal, and the results of the deal, is the government's.
We will hold them to account for the deal, the promises they make and the promises they break.
— 🌈 Angela Rayner 🌈 (@AngelaRayner) December 24, 2020
That is not reasonable. If Labour supports the deal, then Starmer (and Rayner) take as much responsibility for it as Boris Johnson and the Tories. That’s what their vote means:
I’m sorry, but Labour can’t have it both ways on the deal. They cannot say that the Tories will be held responsible for “the consequences of it” but then vote for it. If the deal is good, you vote for it. If the deal is bad, then you vote against or abstain. It’s quite simple
— Nick Lowles (@lowles_nick) December 24, 2020
Labour should vote against the so called Brexit deal. By voting for it they take responsibility for all of its contents and all of its consequences, regardless of what issues they point out about it now.
If you vote for it, you own it.
— Andrew Scattergood (@AJScattergood) December 24, 2020
The plan confirms Starmer’s Labour as pale-blue Conservative cheerleaders:
So glad we have a real opposition again to (checks notes) abstain on everything or support the government
— Ed Poole (@edwardpoole1975) December 24, 2020
One criticism that may strike home is that Starmer has turned the House of Commons into an imitation of the Russian Parliament, the Duma, in which the opposition party votes with Vladimir Putin on everything (apparently).
Note that Rayner says that Labour with vote for the agreement “against no deal” – but there is no possibility of that, now. The Conservatives can vote it through without Labour’s help. ‘No deal’, it seems, was nothing more than an invented bogeyman after all – a threat to hang over us so we wouldn’t compare what we are getting with what we are losing.
In Rayner’s case, it seems to have worked.
But will she – and Starmer – take the rest of the Parliamentary Labour Party with them?
Chris Bryant may find it hard, for one, after his comments about Jeremy Corbyn…
It’s going to be rather amusing if Bryant votes *for* Johnson’s deal and Corbyn votes against it… pic.twitter.com/4vtj1RosvF
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) December 24, 2020
Yes indeed. And it seems more trouble is brewing, according to the Telegraph:
A series of Labour MPs are set to revolt against Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to whip the party in support of Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal.
Rupa Huq, Kevin Brennan, Neil Coyle, Geraint Davies and Clive Efford were among those who criticised the deal and signalled their refusal to vote for it, according to sources present on [a briefing] call.
It is not clear whether they will vote against the deal or abstain, but who can blame them for rebelling? They’re probably thinking something similar to David Rosenberg:
Vote against or, at worst, abstain, but Labour need to show they still have some principles left. Maybe that has all disappeared since April? Force the Tories to own this mess. And to think, without the sabotage, Corbyn-led Labour could have negotiated a principled soft-Brexit. https://t.co/mcuQovm8sR
— David Rosenberg (@davidjrosenberg) December 26, 2020
Depending on what happens and how badly the public take it, This Writer thinks James Foster’s prediction may bed horrifyingly accurate:
Labour are not going to win power again until 2029. At the earliest. https://t.co/NyGHRHIQ1Z
— James Foster (@JamesEFoster) December 24, 2020
Whatever happens, one thing must be made clear:
Keir Starmer knows what he is doing. He should be judged on that basis.
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