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May’s Brexit plans ‘unworkable’ and a ‘fudge’, Sir Keir Starmer says

The shadow Brexit secretary said: ‘I’m afraid it’s got fudge written all over it.’

Theresa May’s Brexit plans are “unworkable” and a “fudge”, the shadow Brexit secretary has claimed.

Sir Keir Starmer lashed out at the proposals agreed by the Cabinet at Chequers, saying they were a “bureaucratic nightmare”, as he called on the Prime Minister to put them to a vote in the Commons.

He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “I’m afraid it’s got fudge written all over it.

“If you look at the facilitated customs arrangement, the sort of heart of this, it’s a rebadging of the partnership and it’s based on the idea that at the border you can distinguish between goods that are going to stay in the UK and those going to the EU.

“It’s unworkable, it’s a bureaucratic nightmare, so this a fudge.”

The Labour frontbencher called for MPs to be given the chance to vote between Labour and the Government’s customs plans.

He said: “We’ve now got two propositions, we’ve got the Labour proposition which I think has the majority support in Parliament, and the Prime Minister’s new proposition, let’s put it to a vote.

“I challenge the Prime Minister: put it to a vote and see where the majority is in Parliament on a customs union.”

And Sir Keir hinted support for giving EU citizens preferential treatment under a future immigration policy, after Mrs May refused to rule it out.

He said: “I accept the principle that if you want the right deal with the EU and we do that that is going to involve preferential treatment for EU citizens.”

Sir Keir also told the programme Labour wanted a customs union that “does the work of the customs union”.

“What we’re suggesting by a customs union is a customs union that does the work of the customs union – it simply reflects the fact that it’s going to have to be in a new treaty – the EU/UK treaty.”

Sir Keir also stated his support for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, despite Labour’s new code of conduct stopping short of signing up to it in full.

He said: “I would urge everybody within the Labour Party to listen to the voices that have come out in recent days and get to a position where we are supporting the full definition.”

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