This is not the time for Labour to put party before country

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Keir Starmer is quoted in the Observer today saying that keeping the Labour Party united is more important than getting Brexit right.

I have one simple message to Keir: no it is not.

A majority of Labour members want to stay in Europe.

Even more Labour supporters want to stay in the customs union and single market.

The overwhelming evidence is that Brexit will cause economic harm.

The ability of this government - or any government, come to that - to deliver Brexit is in considerable doubt in the timescale available.

The impact of Brexit in Ireland is uncertain, but few see any upsides of any sort.

The likelihood that the Union with Northern Ireland will end is high.

The probability that the Union with Scotland would then end is also high.

But despite all this the greatest priority for Keir Starmer and the Labour shadow cabinet is Party unity.

There are numerous ways to evidence dereliction of duty. Of the many available this has to be one of the most graphic.

What Labour is making clear is that what matters to them is Party not country.

I regret that. This is the wrong priority. And the country will remember it.

If ever there was a time that the UK needed an effective opposition this is it. Keir Starmer is saying he will not help provide it even though be knows that is what is needed. It does not do him much credit. And it lets us all down.

It looks like we still need to wait for the courageous politicians we need.