Labour’s strategy on a Brexit deal? Let the Tories flounder

Starmer avoided the issue in PMQs. Labour are picking their battles...

Labour appear to be letting the government fail on their own terms when it comes to securing a Brexit deal.

Despite the chances for a good deal before December 31st looking vanishingly small, Labour are avoiding the issue for now. They’re playing a risky long game – quietly expecting the government to fail but not pre-empting it.

It’s a mature move: let the government get on with it – before laying into them if/when a dire deal or no deal actually happens. We’re a good few years off an election, so it makes some sense.

It does however risk angering arch Remainers – and eliminating any chance of forcing an extension of the transition period. Clearly Labour have decided that is a battle they cannot win.

Keir Starmer’s spokesman told the lobby this afternoon: “The Brexit divides of Leave/Remain are over…The government has a majority of 80…they’re responsible for this.

“The government have said they’ll get a deal by the end of the year and we’ll hold them to that.”

All of which leaves Starmer to hammer the Tories on the huge failures happening now instead – while avoiding getting dragged into another Brexit culture war…

Josiah Mortimer is co-editor of Left Foot Forward.

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