Sir Keir Starmer unsure Brexit will be done by end of year: "I don't think it's practical"
11 May 2020, 13:38
The leader of Labour was taking calls live on LBC when he was asked for his views on Brexit and whether the UK could deliver by the end of the year.
Peter is an NHS GP in Oxford and phoned in to speak about Brexit and how the uncertainty around the UK leaving the EU by the end of 2020 is becoming a point of concern for him and others in his industry.
He told Nick that he was "concerned what's going to happen this winter" when the seasonal flu comes around, especially when much of the UK's vaccine and medication stocks for influenza comes from Europe. The Labour leader insisted that although he cannot see an agreement being made during the pandemic, he is optimistic the government will deliver on their promise of getting Brexit done by the end of the year.
Peter added to the argument that "the negotiations are going nowhere" and the prospect of a Brexit extension grows more inviting as days go by. The GP reminded Sir Keir that he was open to the idea of an extension as he campaigned for the Labour leadership and wanted to know if this was still the case.
Sir Keir told Peter that "the government says it's going to get negotiations done by the end of the year" and he trusts the government to act on their promise. He moved to the idea of this year's flu season could be uniquely challenging as "symptoms for that will be very similar to coronavirus."
Nick stepped in to push the Labour leader on his views of a Brexit extension asking "would you seek to press pause now were you Prime Minister." "I would seek to ensure the negotiations would be completed as quickly as possible" he replied. Sir Keir added that he trusts the government will pull through on their promise of delivering Brexit by the end of the year.
Nick was quick to call out the Labour leader jumping between answers, telling him that he was "riding both horses here."
"I don't think it's practical" Sir Keir maintained, but he insisted that "the government has said it can get it done within the 12 months" and will remain hopeful that it will be delivered by then.