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Keir Starmer defends Labour's Brexit policy at last general election

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Keir Starmer (R) had an uneasy interview with Sky News' Sophy Ridge

Labour party leadership contender, Keir Starmer, has strongly defended his party’s Brexit policy despite the disastrous outcome of last December’s general election.  

In a surprising development, Starmer has described Jeremy Corbyn’s approach as the “right policy” even though friend and foe alike attribute Labour’s crushing defeat in last December’s general election, at least in part, to its Brexit policy.

In an interview with Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, Starmer strongly defended Labour’s position on the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) despite the party suffering its worst loss at the ballot box since 1935.

Broadly speaking, Labour adopted a neutral stance on Brexit during the election campaign and adopted the minimal position of pledging to renegotiate the Brexit deal that Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had agreed with Brussels.

But in a confusing twist, the party also said it would subsequently hold a second referendum, with a special conference to be held at a later date to determine whether Labour would support leaving the EU with that new deal or alternatively staying in the union.

Starmer told Sophy Ridge that the only change he would have made to the party’s Brexit policy is to openly declare “which side” Labour would have supported in the ensuing proposed referendum.

Starmer is increasingly promoted as the “frontrunner” in the Labour leadership race by the mainstream British media, including Sky News.

This is despite the fact that Starmer is neither hugely popular with the unions – historically the main bastion of the Labour party – nor with the party’s rank and file.

Starmer is competing against left-winger Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy, who is situated in the right of the party.

The Labour leadership race is set to conclude on April 04.

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