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Labour MPs call on EU to compromise as they pledge to vote for new Brexit deal

2 min read

Labour MPs have vowed to vote for a new Brexit deal as they made a last-ditch plea for the EU to reach an agreement with Boris Johnson.

The 19 backbenchers said their support would be "decisive" in ensuring any new accord won the backing of the Commons.

Their pledge, in a letter to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, is a further challenge to the authority of Jeremy Corbyn, who last week insisted no Labour MP could support the Prime Minister's Brexit plans.

In the letter, the MPs say the EU referendum result should be "honoured without delay".

"It is now over 1,200 days since the UK people made the decision to leave the European Union," the MPs wrote. "The British people have become exasperated with parliamentary deadlock.

"If a new deal can be brought back to the Commons in the coming weeks that avoids a no deal Brexit and ensures greater certainty during the UK's departure, we believe it serves Britain's national interest to approve it.

"Our votes will be decisive in determining the approval of that deal."

The MPs added: "We urge the Commission, the EU27 and the UK government to work night and day, if required, to agree a deal so the UK Parliament can make a clear decision to close this chapter in the coming weeks. 

"We can then move forward to positive negotiations in stage two."

Among those who have signed the letter are Gloria de Piero, Caroline Flint, Gareth Snell, Ruth Smeeth and Stephen Kinnock.

But in the Commons last week, Mr Corbyn said: "Deal or no deal, this Government’s agenda is clear: they want a Trump Deal Brexit.

"A Trump Deal Brexit that would crash our economy and rip away the standards that put a floor under people’s rights at work that protect our environment and protect our consumers.

"No Labour MP could support such a reckless deal that would be used as springboard to attack rights and standards in this country.”

The MPs' plea came as hope of a deal being struck virtually vanished following a row between Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson.

The pair clashed in a telephone conversation on Tuesday morning, with Number 10 sources claiming the German Chancellor wants Northern Ireland to remain in the EU customs union "forever".

Both sides insist they still want to reach a deal, but time is running out for it to be achieved by the end of this week, the deadline set by French president Emmanuel Macron.

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