Doughty Street silk Keir Starmer is the ‘right person’ to get us a Brexit deal, says The Independent

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By Katie King on

Newspaper backs Labour MP over Tory David Davis

The Independent’s editorial team has backed Keir Starmer QC to lead the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

Describing Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras Starmer as “an asset to the shadow Cabinet”, the newspaper has said it’d rather the public law and human rights silk negotiate our withdrawal than the Conservatives’ Brexit Secretary David Davis, whose background is in business.

Starmer juggles his political duties with a practice at top London set Doughty Street Chambers (where Amal Clooney also works), and it seems his lawyerly instincts are what may have won The Independent over. The newspaper added:

[Backing Starmer] is not simply a matter of wanting a softer Brexit, with less emphasis on restricting immigration and more on the free flowing of trade, prosperity and people. It is partly a matter of being impressed with Sir Keir’s thoughtfulness and grasp of the complexity of the problem.

This news comes one day after Starmer — who previously held the role of Director of Public Prosecutions at the Crown Prosecution Service — gave an insight into how Labour’s negotiating strategy would differ from the Tories’. He revealed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is keen for Starmer to work alongside fellow lawyer and politician Emily Thornberry, and others, to work things out with Brussels.

This point in particular may also interest our readers:

Sir Keir revealed as well that his party would refuse a key Brussels demand for the European Court of Justice to be final guarantor for EU citizens rights after Brexit, but could accept the body having an ongoing role for trade disputes.

While The Independent has been forthcoming with its pro-Starmer stance, not everyone seems to share its enthusiasm.

In a weekend radio debate with Starmer himself, the Work and Pensions Secretary, Damian Green MP, said:

If you go into a negotiation saying ‘whatever happens, however bad the deal is, I’m going to sign up at the end’ you can absolutely guarantee that you will get a lousy deal. And that is what Jeremy Corbyn and the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, that will be supporting him, have already signed up to.

And who could forget this classic Starmer diss? Politician Iain Duncan Smith — who was in fact Green’s predecessor — notably called Starmer a “second rate lawyer” during a fiery Brexit debate. Twitter went absolutely mental over it.

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