Sir Keir Starmer is facing a shadow cabinet revolt over Brexit after the Labour leader said last week that his party should back a deal if Boris Johnson is able to secure one.
Senior members of Starmer’s top team said Labour should abstain rather than support what the party believes will be a “thin” trade deal with the EU.
Starmer, stung by the loss of leave-voting seats in the general election, is arguing that the party needs to be seen to support a deal.
In a heated meeting last week, Starmer was backed by Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary, and Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, along with the MPs Jonathan Ashworth and John Healey.
Emily Thornberry, the shadow international trade secretary, opposed the