“I don’t think that there’s scope for major renegotiation,” Starmer told the BBC when asked about Labour’s support for Johnson’s deal. “It’s thin, it’s not what was promised, but whether we like it or not that is going to be the treaty that an incoming Labour government inherits and has to make work.”
Starmer also reiterated his opposition to another referendum on Scottish independence, saying a “divisive” vote would undermine efforts to tackle the pandemic. The Labour leader has previously called for a constitutional commission to consider how to revamp devolution in the U.K.
“I accept that the status quo isn’t working and I don’t accept the argument that if the status quo isn’t working the next thing you do is to go to a referendum,” Starmer said.
The issue of Scottish independence is set to be a major theme in British politics this year as the country’s biggest parties try to arrest rising support for ending the three-centuries-old United Kingdom.
Polls show the Scottish National Party is on course to win an outright majority in local elections this year. Nicola Sturgeon, who leads the SNP and the government in Edinburgh, says she wants another referendum early in the next Scottish Parliament, though Johnson has refused to sanction one.