Lucy Powell tells HuffPost UK: “We can’t keep putting two fingers up to people if we want them to vote for us again.”
Labour must not abstain in a vote on any Brexit trade deal Boris Johnson strikes with the EU, a shadow minister has said.
Lucy Powell suggested on HuffPost UK’s Commons People podcast that refusing to vote would amount to “putting two fingers up” to ex-Labour voters who back Brexit.
Labour leader Keir Starmer is currently trying to contain a shadow cabinet row over whether the party should back any deal or abstain.
On Thursday, he acknowledged the “different opinions” in Labour but said “a deal is obviously in the national interest” and stressed the party would take a united position,
A UK-EU trade deal could be agreed with days as negotiations draw to a close.
Reports suggest that some shadow cabinet ministers may quit if Labour backs the deal.
The Times named shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds, shadow trade secretary Emily Thornberry and shadow justice secretary David Lammy as among those who have reservations about voting in favour.
Powell, who worked on a review of Labour’s crushing December 2019 election defeat, suggested her party would have sought a softer Brexit.
But she described Johnson’s proposed deal as something that can be “built on”, whereas no-deal would be a “catastrophe”.
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