Fresh pressure on Jeremy Corbyn over opposition to Norway-style soft Brexit

Posted On: 
17th May 2018

Jeremy Corbyn is facing renewed pressure to shift his opposition to a Norway-style soft Brexit, amid reports that at least 70 MPs may be ready to defy him over the issue.

Jeremy Corbyn has all-but ruled out keeping the UK in the EEA
PA Images

The Labour leader's allies have repeatedly ruled out pushing for membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), a move which would effectively keep Britain in the European single market.

More than 80 Labour peers last week defied the party whip to back an amendment to the Government's flagship Brexit bill which called for EEA membership.

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At least 70 Labour MPs are now willing to break ranks and back that amendment when it returns to the Commons, according to the Times.

“This is the moment ‘constructive ambiguity’ has to come to an end, that we get to see what Jeremy really wants from Brexit,” a source told the paper.

Fresh confusion over the party's stance on the EEA was sparked yesterday when two shadow ministers said Labour had not taken a Norway-style Brexit "off the table".

That came despite Mr Corbyn's spokesperson on Monday declaring EEA membership as "not appropriate" and saying it "will not work for the kind of Brexit that we want to see".

Senior Labour frontbenchers including Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer and Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner have also previously ruled out backing the softer version of Brexit.