James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Sir Keir Starmer to raise Brexit plight of LBC caller's small business with Government
22 February 2021, 10:09 | Updated: 26 February 2021, 17:41
Sir Keir Starmer has told an LBC listener whose small business has been hit hard by Brexit that he will raise her problem with the Government.
Mina from Enfield spoke to the Labour Party leader during Call Keir, explaining that she owns an online business selling clothes and since Brexit has lost all her clients.
She said: "Since 1st January I have not been able to sell to the EU, the majority of my customers do not want any unexpected postal levies such as import duties and taxes so since Brexit I’ve lost all my clients."
"The government promised a free trade agreement, but the deal we’ve ended up with is as bad as no deal," she added.
She asked: "Is there anything the Labour Party can do to reverse, rectify this disaster?"
Sir Keir responded: “It’s one of the things I feared under this trade agreement which is much narrower than it should have been and I hope that can be sorted out for you.
“We supported the Brexit deal that the Prime Minister brought back because the option was that deal or no deal which would be a lot worse but that doesn’t make this a good deal by any stretch of the imagination and your example is exactly what a lot of businesses have been going through.”
He pledged to bring up the issue with the Government on her behalf, adding: "We have raised this is Parliament a number of times because there’s too much red tape.
"The Prime Minister actually said when he got the deal there wouldn’t be any non-tariff barriers, well he was wrong about and you know that very well because of the impact on your business."
Pressed by Nick Ferrari, Sir Keir also dismissed as "not true in the slightest" reports that emerged over the weekend that raising Brexit with the Labour leadership is like "don't mention the war".
And on issues with the Northern Ireland protocol element of the Brexit deal, he said: "We’ve got to improve the situation in Northern Ireland."
"The Prime Minister has always pretended that the situation in Northern Ireland would be absolutely fine", he said, "but actually of course we're now seeing the consequences of that and they are serious consequences and we will raise them and hold the Government to account on them."
"Unpicking the protocol is problematic... but it has to work better," he added.