Jeremy Corbyn will not remove whip from Labour MPs that vote for Brexit deal

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn at the Queen's Speech. Photograph: BBC.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn at the Queen's Speech. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: Archant

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to threaten Labour MPs that back Boris Johnson on Brexit.

The Labour leader said he believed in the "power of persuasion" instead, despite a number of Labour Leave MPs continuing to rebel against the whip, including Graham Stringer, Kate Hoey, and Dennis Skinner.

He said: "I believe in the power of persuasion rather than the power of threat.

"I will ask all Labour MPs to vote along with the party, in opposing any deal which damages rights and protections, or drives us into the arms of Donald Trump."

A number of Labour MPs have said that they want to see a Brexit deal to avoid the threat of a no-deal Brexit, but with the Benn act in place that threat would be reduced.

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Politicians including Stephen Kinnock, Caroline Flint and Gloria de Piero among those MPs within the MPs for a deal campaign group.

Kinnock placed support as high as 30 MPs supporting them, with 19 recently signing an open letter to the leader opposing a Brexit extension.

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If the Labour leadership do remove the whip from the MPs it would prevent them from standing again as Labour at a general election.

But despite his relaxed attitude, Corbyn said he was "deeply concerned" about the Brexit negotiations, which could lead to a "mega loss of rights".

He said: "What I heard from the talks which are going on leads me to be deeply concerned, that in reality there's going to be a border in the Irish Sea, between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

"And, that the loss of the regulatory power of the European Union on consumer rights, on workers' rights and so on, will lead to a trade deal with the United States and a mega loss of rights.

"This is not a deal that we can support."

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