Speaking ahead of the triggering of Article 50 on Wednesday, Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister needed to “face down” Eurosceptics in the Government to ensure the UK did not “sever” links with Europe completely.
During Chatham House speech on Monday morning, he said an “ideologically driven approach” to Brexit would be “disastrous” and condemned those prepared to leave the bloc without a deal.
He said: “Now is the time to recommit to our values of internationalism, cooperation and belief in multinational solutions to complex challenges.
“But there is a worrying and increasingly powerful move on the Government benches to sever our links with Europe.
Keir Starmer called on Theresa May to remove Brexit backers from her cabinet
Now is the time to recommit to our values of internationalism, cooperation and belief in multinational solutions to complex challenges
“This is the authentic voice of the Brexiteers. Those who have argued for decades that exiting the EU offers a once in a generation chance for Britain to extradite itself from the entire European social and economic model.
“Employment rights. Environmental protections. Fair corporate tax rates. Investment in public services such as the NHS.”
Leave voters appointed to Mrs May’s cabinet include the likes of Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Chris Grayling. Mr Starmer claimed a Brexiteer’s EU divorce would halt cooperation in “important fields”.
“Once a small minority in the Conservative Party, the Brexiteers are now in office and in power,” he said. “This ideologically driven approach to Brexit would be disastrous and divisive.
Brexit: Results of how the UK voted Mon, March 20, 2017
Much of the North East of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union including Sunderland, Gateshead, Darlington, Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, and Northumberland
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GREAT YARMOUTH: The town of Great Yarmouth on the East Coast of England voted by 72% to leave the European Union.
Boris Johnson was a prominent campaigner for leave and was made Foreign Secretary
“And it would stand as a roadblock to continued cooperation in the important fields of technology, research, medicine, security, science, arts and culture.”
The Labour MP said it was time for Mrs May to make assurances on Britain’s future relationship with the EU.
He said: “The Prime Minister needs to face down these Brexiteers who would distance us from Europe.
“And the clearest way for her to do so would be to agree a strong and collaborative future relationship with the EU, not just reflected in comprehensive trading arrangements but also reflected in fields such as science, medicine, education, technology, research, counterterrorism and so much else.”