Breaking the deadlock

Courtesy Gibraltar Chronicle:

Breaking the Commons deadlock on Brexit will require an “open and frank debate”, the UK’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer will warn today. Following the crushing defeat of Theresa May’s Brexit deal by MPs, Sir Keir will acknowledge there are “no easy routes” out of the current crisis. In a speech to the Fabian Society new year conference in London, he will say it is now up to the UK Parliament to take the “difficult decisions” needed for the country to move forward. His call comes after Jeremy Corbyn faced criticism for ordering Labour MPs to boycott talks with Theresa May and other senior ministers aimed at building a Commons consensus. The Labour leader said he was not prepared to meet the Prime Minister unless she took the prospect of a no-deal Brexit off the table – something Mrs May has said would be “impossible”.

In his speech, Sir Keir will say that, with another Commons vote looming on January 29, there is a need for MPs to produce “credible solutions” to end the impasse.

“It’s now time for an open and frank debate about how we break the deadlock,” he will say. “There are no easy routes out of the mess this Government has got us into on Brexit. Difficult decisions are going to have to be made by Parliament. For too long the Prime Minister has offered the country false hope and false promises. She has failed to be straight with the public about the consequences of the choices she has taken. Now is the time for an honest debate and for credible solutions to emerge.”

Sir Keir will say the events of the past week have shown MrsMay is incapable of producing an agreement that can unite Parliament – or even the Tory Party – and he will condemn her “reckless” persistence with her existing deal.

“The Prime Minister suffered the largest defeat of any government in history and did so on the defining issue of this Parliament,” he will say.

“In normal times, that would mean a new Prime Minister and a new Government. But these aren’t normal times. We have a government that can’t govern, a Brexit deal that has no chance of getting through Parliament and a Prime Minister who stubbornly refuses to drop the very red lines that led to this crisis. People often praise the Prime Minister for her resilience. But, what the Prime Minister is doing right now is not resilience. It’s reckless. Ploughing on without a plan while the country lurches from one crisis to another.”