Stella Creasy last night condemned Sir Keir Starmer’s silence on Europe as the party continues to tie itself in knots over Brexit.
The senior backbencher said that failing to speak out on Brexit was playing into Boris Johnson’s hands and hampering attempts to tackle urgent issues such as surging prices.
Meanwhile, David Miliband, the former Labour foreign secretary, made clear that it is not the time to reopen the question of re-joining the European Union.
Stella Creasy (pictured) condemned Sir Keir Starmer’s silence on Europe as the party continues to tie itself in knots over Brexit. She said that failing to speak out was hampering attempts to tackle urgent issues such as surging prices
Sir Keir has come under mounting pressure for avoiding the European issue, with the party split between those who believe the Red Wall views on Brexit should be accepted and those who do not. At the time of the 2016 referendum, he campaigned vigorously for Remain.
Writing for The Observer, Miss Creasy suggested Labour’s defensive approach amounts to a betrayal of those who voted to remain in the EU in 2016.
She said Labour must not wait until after the next general election to speak out about areas in which Brexit is clearly failing and the benefits of cooperating more closely with Europe.
Miss Creasy, who is chairman of the Labour Movement for Europe, wrote: ‘Whether [it is] businesses overwhelmed with red tape, [or] care homes missing staff or rising food prices, the public are asking why such difficulties keep happening and finding MPs avoiding an honest answer, let alone a solution.
Keir Starmer, who at the time of the 2016 referendum campaigned vigorously to remain, has come under mounting pressure for avoiding the European issue because of the party’s split views
‘To fix something, you first must name it. And that means getting over the myth that talking about Europe is code for re-running referendums.’
Last night, Mr Miliband – speaking to Andrew Neil from his base in New York where he now runs the International Rescue Committee – said: ‘Brexit’s happened and Labour can’t promise to reverse Brexit. We’re not going to reopen the question of a referendum on re-joining the EU. But Brexit isn’t working. Brexit is costing us economically, socially, politically.’
He added: ‘There are wider sets of questions about regulatory standards, migration, refugees [and] politics.’