U.K. shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer dismissed the draft Withdrawal Agreement struck by EU and U.K. negotiators as “inadequate in so many ways,” and signaled that Labour would not back the deal.
Starmer told the BBCs Today program Thursday that while he had yet to fully read the deal in detail, early indicators werent good, and “if its not good enough, why on earth should Labour back it?”
The opposition Labour party has said for months that it will not accept a “vague or blind Brexit” deal, Starmer said, adding there is “nothing in [the draft deal] about a comprehensive customs union.”
The deal would effectively lead to a “trade agreement that makes it harder to trade, not easier to trade,” Labours Brexit chief said.
Referring to the section in the draft agreement on customs arrangements, Starmer noted that at first glance, it appeared “there will be more friction at the border. It doesnt even use the phrase frictionless anymore.”
The 585-page draft document, agreed Wednesday, demonstrates that it is “impossible to replicate the benefits” Britain now has in the European Union, Starmer said.
“Why on earth would you back a deal as bad as this one?” he concluded.