Northern Labour MPs write to the EU urging them to come to a Brexit deal

Six northern Labour MPs have vowed to back an EU deal despite leader Jeremy Corbyn saying none of his MPs should support Boris Johnson's new proposals.

Mr Corbyn said in the Commons last week: "No Labour MP could support such a reckless deal that would be used as springboard to attack rights and standards in this country.”

But in the letter the 19 Labour MPs in total said they "wish to see the British EU referendum result honoured without further delay".

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It said: "We hope the Commission and the EU27 will engage with all earnest to reach an accommodation with the UK and we urge flexibility on both sides to reach the common goal of an orderly exit and continued co-operation as neighbours".

The MPs said they did not "stand in judgement on the merits of the UK proposals" and there was "more agreement across parties than many would suggest".

They said if a deal was brought before Parliament "our votes will be decisive in determining the approval of that deal".

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint, one of the letters signatories, said: “It’s in all our interests to secure a deal, having more extensions and delays is not going to cut it.”

She said people were sick of Parliament and of the EU and said: “One thing I can say is we are equally as frustrated it has taken so long and we believe we are pretty much in the same view of the public.”

Caroline Flint is one of those who signed the letter. Photo: JPI Media

Ms Flint said she would vote a deal through Parliament if the EU agreed to Mr Johnson’s deal, but said this was not turning her back on her party.

She said: “We’re not voting for Boris Johnson’s deal, we’re doing this in the interest of the country, it will be a UK deal.”

She hinted that the ball may now be in the EU’s court and said: “To be fair having gone from a few weeks back when people were accusing the Government of not having anything at all, they have pulled something together. They have shown some flexibility in terms of Northern Ireland.”

Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis also signed the letter, he said: “As the MP for a seat that voted heavily to Leave, I have consistently maintained that the referendum result should be respected but that jobs, living standards, environmental protections and our economy must be protected. The best way to do that is through agreeing a deal that can deliver an orderly Brexit.

“It is important that at this crucial moment, all sides work together in the national interest, respect the referendum result and enable us to get on and address the fundamental challenges facing our country. Whether that’s the regional imbalances in our economy, investment in our NHS and local schools or tackling crime and getting more police on the streets.”

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion added: “I still believe that the best way [to leave the EU] is to leave with a deal in place. As we approach October 31st, the chances that a deal can be secured are receding. It is therefore vital that both sides commit to negotiations and to compromise.

“Further delay will do nothing to resolve the current impasse and it is my firm hope that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached.”

Other MPs who put their name to the letter included Kevin Barron, Sarah Peacock, and Melanie Onn.

Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn brought forward legislation which means if Mr Johnson cannot secure a deal, he has to ask the EU for another extension - despite Mr Johnson's insistence he will leave on October 31 with our without a deal.

Mr Benn told the World At One programme: "I'm very happy to see Parliament sit on October 19, because there will be a lot of people in London calling precisely for that confirmatory referendum."

Asked if he accepts that the price of ruling out no deal has been that it is harder for the Prime Minister to get a deal, Mr Benn replied: "No, I don't accept that, because the Act was very carefully structured to give the Prime Minister the opportunity to negotiate a deal with the European Union if he could.

"And the problem, the reason why it looks like the talks aren't going anywhere, is that he has broken with what had been the consensus between the United Kingdom and the EU that whatever happened the open border in Northern Ireland had to be maintained."

Mr Benn said the problem is "of the Prime Minister's own making", adding: "What Downing Street is doing is trying to blame everyone else - the EU, Germany, the Act, and all of those other things - but actually it is the Prime Minister who has brought this mess upon himself."

However the prospects of an agreement look slim after Downing Street accused the EU on Tuesday of making it "essentially impossible" for the UK to leave with a deal.