CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Keir Stamer: Idea that Lib Dems are champions of Europe is ‘far-fetched’

MP hits back over Lib Dem call to use local elections to 'send a message' over Brexit

12 April, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Keir Starmer at the Labour Party’s manifesto launch on Tuesday evening

LABOUR’S Brexit spokesman Sir Keir Starmer hit back at the Lib Dems for trying to use Britain’s divorce from Europe to attack other their rivals on the campaign trail.

He was one of the speakers at Labour’s manifesto launch at the JW3 centre in Finchley Road on Tuesday evening, where members asked how canvassers could avoid the vote being split over the party’s position on Europe.

The Holborn and St Pancras MP told the New Journal afterwards: “The Lib Dems in 2009 were the first party to call for a referendum and they goaded the Labour Party, saying Labour doesn’t trust the people, we want a once-and-for-all referendum. They then joined the government in 2010 and brought through austerity which in my view led to the inequalities that were expressed in the referendum result. So, the idea that the Lib Dems are the great champions of Europe when they goaded for a referendum in the first place, on an opportunistic basis, is a bit far-fetched.”

Lib Dem candidates called for voters to use the local elections to “send a message” over Brexit at hustings on Monday evening.

Asked what his party would be telling voters on the doorstep, he said: “What Labour needs to do is emphasises our values: we value internationalism, we value cooperation. We have not given up on that, those values guide our future. What we want to do is to make sure we have the closest possible relationship with Europe for the next generation, and we are not going to get that by pretending as Lib Dems are doing that you can somehow rub out the result.”

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