How EVERY MP in Sir Keir Starmer's Cabinet full opposed Brexit (2024)

We will neither rejoin the EU, nor even go back into the single market or the customs unions – so declared Sir Keir Starmer, on taking office.

Yet as Labour talks of closer links to Europe, a close inspection of the new Cabinet by ROSS CLARK reveals every single MP around the table campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum.

And many went on to demand a second vote to try to overturn the result of the first…


1 Sir Keir Starmer

Prime Minister

In February 2019, Sir Keir, then shadow Brexit secretary, demanded a second referendum between a 'credible Leave option' and remaining in the EU. But even his proposed Leave suggestion meant staying in the customs union. The British people weren't to be trusted with the choice of a harder Brexit.

2 Angela Rayner

Deputy Prime Minister

She voted to remain in the EU but opposed a move by Labour MPs to thwart Brexit, saying: 'I don't think people want to see us in a second referendum. They want to see parliamentarians working together… to get the best deal we can.'

In February 2019, Sir Keir, then shadow Brexit secretary, demanded a second referendum between a 'credible Leave option' and remaining in the EU

Angela Rayner voted to remain in the EU but opposed a move by Labour MPs to thwart Brexit

3 Pat McFadden

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

He described Boris Johnson and Michael Gove as 'Brextremists' and asserted in the Daily Mirror leaving the EU was going to land Britain with a bill for £58billion. That was misleading as this, in fact, was money which Britain had agreed it would contribute to the pensions of EU staff over many years.

4 Bridget Phillipson

Education Secretary

A loud campaigner for a second referendum, she hoped it would reverse the result of the first. 'I think leaving would cause far more serious lasting damage,' she wrote in 2019.

5 John Healey

Defence Secretary

He campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum campaign but has been quieter than most on the subject.

6 Liz Kendall

Pensions Secretary

She claimed 'it will be the people who voted Brexit who will end up paying the price with their wages and employment rights' if the government took advantage of Brexit freedoms and liberalised the economy.

7 Louise Haigh

Transport Secretary

She campaigned for remain and wrote on her website in 2017 that she would 'fight tooth and nail to ensure that Brexit is not used as an excuse to negotiate away our rights, protections and close trading relationship with the EU'.

Louise Haigh wrote that she would 'fight tooth and nail to ensure that Brexit is not used as an excuse to negotiate away our rights, protections and close trading relationship with the EU'

Ed Miliband was appointedSecretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

Pat Fadden described Boris Johnson and Michael Gove as 'Brextremists' and asserted in the Daily Mirror leaving the EU was going to land Britain with a bill for £58billion

8 Steve Reed

Environment Secretary

He claimed in September 2016 that the government 'will use the excuse of global competition outside the EU to slash rights and benefits'. Workers' rights remained intact.

9 Richard Hermer

Attorney General

He has not previously been in politics, having been a lawyer at Left-leaning Matrix Chambers.

10 Ian Murray

Scottish secretary

Mr Murray said that, 'David Cameron gambled his future – and that of the country – on the EU referendum'.

11 Hilary Benn

Northern Ireland Secretary

He was chairman of the Commons Brexit committee which demanded a Norway-style exit where Britain remained in the single market. Mr Benn later switched to blocking Brexit altogether, telling a People's Vote rally: 'Brexit will make us poorer. Who voted for that?'

12 Jo Stevens

Welsh Secretary

Ms Stevens felt so strongly she resigned as shadow Welsh secretary to continue campaigning. 'Obviously, it's no secret I want us to stay in the European Union,' she said.

Hilary Benn was chairman of the Commons Brexit committee which demanded a Norway-style exit where Britain remained in the single market

Yvette Cooper campaigned to remain in the EU even though her Yorkshire constituency was heavily Leave-voting

Shabana Mahmood complained Theresa May's government had 'made no attempt to reach out to the 48 per cent' who had voted Remain

13 Wes Streeting

Health Secretary

Mr Streeting wrote on his website in November 2018: 'I believe very strongly that a people's vote is right in practice and in principle… the Brexit on offer bears so little resemblance [what] people were promised that it is right to ask if they really want to proceed on this basis.'

14 David Lammy

Foreign Secretary

Soon after the vote in 2016, Mr Lammy tweeted: 'Wake up. We do not have to do this. Stop this madness through a vote in parliament.' He demanded a second referendum and compared the hard-Brexit European Research Group of Tory MPs to Nazis.

15 Rachel Reeves

Chancellor

She wrote an article in the Yorkshire Post demanding a 'people's vote'. She claimed Brexit had already shrunk the UK economy by 2.5 per cent before we had even left. Actually, the economy grew steadily in the first two years.

16 Yvette Cooper

Home Secretary

She campaigned to remain in the EU even though her Yorkshire constituency was heavily Leave-voting. In 2019, she tabled a Commons Bill to delay Brexit. When that failed, she produced a Bill to prevent Britain from leaving the EU without a withdrawal deal.

17 Jon Reynolds

Business Secretary

He campaigned for Remain, but was one of he first Labour MPs to accept the result, saying in July 2016 that the party should 'stop sulking'.

18 Ed Miliband

Energy Secretary

When in 2013, prime minister David Cameron announced his intention to offer a simple in-out referendum, Mr Miliband told the BBC: 'I think it is incredibly dangerous what David is doing. I think he is essentially sleepwalking us towards the exit door.' But he has always respected the result.

19 Shabana Mahmood

Justice Secretary

She complained Theresa May's government had 'made no attempt to reach out to the 48 per cent' who had voted Remain. She stated in a letter to constituents in 2021: 'I consistently voted for the softest possible departure for Britain leaving the EU.'

20 Lisa Nandy

Culture Secretary

Ms Nandy campaigned for Remain but admitted that people had voted 'so they can take back control of their labour market and our response was to call them stupid or racist'.

Lisa Nandy campaigned for Remain but admitted that people had voted 'so they can take back control of their labour market and our response was to call them stupid or racist'.

David Lammydemanded a second referendum and compared the hard-Brexit European Research Group of Tory MPs to Nazis

Steve Reed claimed in September 2016 that the government 'will use the excuse of global competition outside the EU to slash rights and benefits'

21 Baroness Smith of Basildon

Leader of the House of Lords

She claimed in the Lords that the Brexit vote had caused a 'spike in hate crimes' despite a lack of evidence. There was no great leap in 2016, the year of the referendum.

22 Peter Kyle

Technology secretary

He wrote on the Labour List website that 'Brexit is a big deal, but it is not a done deal' before adding, menacingly, that 'those leading Labour these days were not marching alongside us. Their absence did not go unnoticed.'

23 Lucy Powell

Leader of the Commons

She campaigned to Remain and later demanded that Britain should stay in the single market and customs union.

24. Darren Jones

Chief Secretary to The Treasury

He said: 'I'm very clear that my number one priority is to make the case over and over again to the government, to my constituents and the British people that we should have the right to change our mind as the facts become clear about this Tory-led Brexit disaster.'

How EVERY MP in Sir Keir Starmer's Cabinet full opposed Brexit (2024)

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