In a hardening of Labour’s position on Brexit, Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit Secretary, has said that the Labour party will not support the Government’s final Brexit deal unless it satisfies the party’s “six tests”. The tests include: a fair migration system for UK businesses and communities; retaining a strong and collaborative relationship with the EU; protecting national security and tackling cross-border crime; delivering for all nations and regions of the UK; protecting workers’ rights and protections; and ensuring the UK has the same benefits currently enjoyed within the single market.
Sir Keir outlined Labour’s position in a speech at Chatham House in London, and told the Prime Minister that the Labour party will not support a deal which fails to reflect the “core British values and the six tests”. Sir Keir said that Labour’s demands merely match those set out by the Government’s Brexit Secretary, David Davis, in Parliament, and that Prime Minister May “needs to face down these Brexiteers who would distance us from Europe”. Sir Keir stated that “the biggest danger currently facing British businesses, jobs and living standards is the chance of the Prime Minister exiting the EU without a deal. This is the worst of all possible outcomes”. Sir Keir encouraged Prime Minister May to put in place transitional arrangements starting on 29 March 2019 (the date on which the UK will leave the EU) which will last until a full and collaborative EU/UK treaty can be agreed. Sir Keir warned that any failure of the final Brexit deal to meet the six tests “will of course affect how Labour votes in the House of Commons”.