Keir Starmer, the opposition Labour Party’s lead spokesman on Brexit, has been addressing MPs. Much of his speech has focused on the trustworthiness of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Starmer notes that, when Johnson spoke at last year’s annual conference of the Democratic Unionist Party, the Northern Irish group that props up his government, he promised that no British leader would ever agree to a Brexit deal that placed a border in the Irish Sea.
Now, Starmer notes, he has done just that, by agreeing a deal that places a customs border metaphorically in the waterway that separates Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Anyone considering Johnson’s promises to maintain, for example, workers’ rights need to “reflect” on how he had treated the DUP: “Promise, then burn."
Starmer also echoes the fear of many Labour lawmakers and some Conservatives – that a no-deal Brexit could happen at the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020 if a free trade agreement is not concluded with the EU by then.
Johnson’s deal is a “trap door to no-deal,” Starmer said.