Labour bid for soft Brexit law ‘not being done lightly’

Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary has said that Irish cross-border co-operation is “not an issue to play party politics on”.

Keir Starmer MP was speaking as he pledged to try and push through changes to Brexit legislation making a hard Irish border impossible.

He has said despite the UK government and the EU both agreeing that no hard border is wanted, such a commitment is not legally binding.

He said his proposed amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, he said it “would put in place a legal commitment preventing a hard border”, and would seek to ensure there can be no drop in North-South co-operation in political, economic, security or agricultural areas.

Delivering a speech in Birmingham today, Sir Keir said: “We do not do this lightly. I know from my time in Northern Ireland that this is not an issue to play party politics on, or to divide the House unnecessarily.”

Sir Keir, a lawyer, had in the past been an advisor to the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

“This amendment is born of necessity. Because of the government’s failure to advance a credible solution in Northern Ireland.”