Starmer says Biden’s victory means PM should honour Brexit withdrawal agreement – UK politics live | Politics

Good morning. For once, coronavirus is not dominating the domestic political headlines, because Westminster is still assessing the impact of Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential elections. In an article for the Guardian Sir Keir Starmer urges Labour to learn from Joe Biden’s “broad coalition” which won back voters who turned away from the Democrats four years ago, pointing to the president-elect’s emphasis on “family, community and security”. My colleague Jessica Elgot has the story here.

In his article Starmer also says the defeat of Donald Trump makes it even more important for Boris Johnson to abandon the provisions in the internal market bill allowing it to over-rule parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, thereby breaking international law. Starmer says:


I want us to be striking the best possible trade deals for Britain, which help to create jobs, grow our industries and protect our standards. That must start with us getting a trade agreement with the European Union by the end of the year, as was promised. It also means being a country that abides by the rule of the law.

We will soon have a president in the Oval Office who has been a passionate advocate for the preservation of the Good Friday agreement. He, like governments across the world, will take a dim view if our prime minister ploughs ahead with proposals to undermine that agreement. If the government is serious about a reset in its relationship with the US, then it should take an early first step and drop these proposals.

Peers are due to vote on the bill in the Lords this afternoon. They are expected to vote down the provisions in the bill that would allow the government to ignore parts of the withdrawal agreement, but at the moment the government is saying that, if it loses, it will reinstate them when the bill returns to the Commons where it has a majority (unlike in the Lords).

You can read Starmer’s article in full here.

We will hear more from him in a moment, because he is about to hold his regular LBC phone-in.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9am: Sir Keir Starmer holds his regular ‘Call Keir’ LBC phone-in.

9.30am: Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, gives a speech at an aviation conference.

12pm: Downing Street is expected to hold its daily lobby briefing.

12.15pm: Mark Drakeford, the Welsh first minister, holds a briefing as the Welsh lockdown ends.

12.15pm: Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, holds a coronavirus briefing.

After 2pm: Peers begin their debate on the internal market bill. They are expected to vote down provisions in the bill allowing the government to break international law by over-ruling the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

4pm: Penny Mordaunt, a Cabinet Office minister, gives evidence to the joint committee on national security on biosecurity.

Politics Live is now doubling up as the UK coronavirus live blog and, given the way the Covid crisis eclipses everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we will be covering non-Covid political stories too, like Brexit, and when they seem more important or more interesting, they will take precedence.

Here is our global coronavirus live blog.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

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