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Sir Keir Starmer’s desire to avoid talking about Brexit has been highlighted after the Labour leader devoted his Prime Minister’s Questions time to prods about the testing regime. Many expected the former head of the Crown Prosecution Service to attack the Government over their new legislation that is seeking to override a key part of the UK and EU’s withdrawal agreement. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg provided insight into why the Opposition leader may be reluctant to charge ahead on such topics.
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She told Politics Live: “As we expected, he didn’t want to touch Brexit with a barge pole.
“We know he’s almost got an allergy to talking about that publicly.
“He doesn’t want that, at this moment, to be something that the Labour Party dwells on for the reasons that we’ve discussed many times.”
Ms Kuenssberg also pointed to the Labour leader’s strong Remain views as a major reason.
She said: “Keir Starmer just doesn’t want to talk about Brexit at all.
“It’s almost a ‘don’t mention the war’ for the Labour Party.
“Not just because of his own very strong position for a second referendum, which, in the end, was very counterproductive for Labour in the general election.
“But also the traditional rule of politics: why interrupt your enemy if they’re making a mistake?”
The BBC editor added: “Why would he want to put himself into the middle of what is clearly a very troubling issue for the Government?
“But he just doesn’t want to go there, and I don’t think at this point he needs to have a worked out version of his alternative trade deal.”
The Government is currently facing vociferous challenges from all sides for their latest move.
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Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis admitted that it would break international law.
However, he claimed it would only be “in a very specific and limited way”.
Former Prime Minister John Major issued an incendiary statement in response, writing: “For generations, Britain’s word – solemnly given – has been accepted by friend and foe. Our signature on any Treaty or Agreement has been sacrosanct.
“Over the last century, as our military strength has dwindled, our world has retained its power.
“If we lose our reputation for honouring the promises we make, we will have lost something beyond price that may never be regained.”
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