A rift has emerged at the heart of the Labour Party regarding what direction the UK should take post-Brexit.
Barry Gardiner, the Shadow International Trade Secretary, insisted Labour – despite now backing a customs union – will not make a similar shift on staying in the EU’s internal trading bloc.
At the weekend, more than 80 senior Labour figures issued an open statement to argue that only staying in the single market can avert huge economic damage from Brexit.
Mr Gardiner said: “The British people voted against what is the project of ever closer union. The British people took a decision that we would leave the European Union,” he said.
“They wanted us to make sure that we were regaining what they saw as our sovereignty – that we were not paying money into the budget of the European Union – and that we had the ability to control our own borders.
“All of those things are things that we would not be able to do if we were part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and, therefore, of the single market.”