Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer calls on the Prime Minister to extend Article 50, and to consider a second referendum.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, the BBC presenter pressed the Shadow Brexit Secretary to confirm he supports an extension to Article 50, the mechanism triggered by Parliament in March 2017 to enable Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The legislation states the UK must leave the EU without a deal if one is not reached prior to March 29th 2019.
Also on the show, International Development Secretary Dr. Liam Fox, however, said that any attempt to delay Article 50 would result in Parliament ‘going back on its word‘ that the UK would leave in March.
Marr also asked the Shadow Brexit Secretary if Labour is willing put another referendum on the table. Starmer said it is an option for Parliament to consider, and blamed Mrs May for ‘getting us into that situation.’
When asked to clarify how he would campaign in the event of another referendum, Starmer said he would campaign to remain in the EU.
Starmer also slammed the Government’s lack of preparation for a no-deal Brexit, saying: ‘There are no customs arrangements in place and no legislation on tariffs. There are no IT systems in place either. It is ridiculous to suggest it can be done.’
The Shadow Brexit Secretary’s answers sparked angry reactions on Twitter:
Labour want to maintain the EU status quo, block radical change and now want to delay Brexit.
What an appalling betrayal of the 17.4m who voted Leave. #Marr
— Michael Heaver (@Michael_Heaver) January 20, 2019
Political City co-director Matt Kilcoyne tweeted:
Keir Starmer should just say what he wants: No Brexit. Just say it. You’re fooling no-one.
But while he continues to obfuscate, he plays into the stereotype of a politician playing dishonest games. #marr
— Matt Kilcoyne (@MRJKilcoyne) January 20, 2019
EFTA4UK, which believes the UK should join the European Free Trade Association, called for a compromise between Labour and the Conservatives:
To break the Brexit deadlock, the Conservatives must drop their opposition the EEA, and Labour their insistence on permanent customs union membership. #Brexit #Marr #Peston #bbcqt #bbcaq pic.twitter.com/ud2ad1PKzT
— EFTA 4 UK (@EFTA4UK) January 19, 2019
When asked what he would do if the Prime Minister extended Article 50, Dr. Fox said he is not in favour of delaying Article 50.
He said the EU are not likely to support it either.