11:30 GMT +321 August 2018
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    Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd sits next to Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party as they attend the unveiling of the statue of suffragist Millicent Fawcett on Parliament Square, in London, Britain, April 24, 2018

    Northern MPs Defy Corbyn – Call for Second EU Referendum

    © REUTERS / Hannah McKay
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    England’s north has suffered economically in recent decades and is disproportionately dependent on trade with Europe.

    Five northern members of Britain's opposition Labour Party have broken ranks with Jeremy Corbyn and demanded that any final Brexit trade agreement with the European Union be subject to a second referendum.

    ​Catherine McKinnell of Newcastle North, Bridget Phillipson of Houghton and Sunderland South, Phil Wilson of Sedgefield, Paul Williams of Stockton South and Anna Turley of Redcar all hold constituencies in Labour's one-time heartland in the north-east of England.

    Making their demands in an article in the British newspaper The Independent, they cited the disproportionate economic and social impact that a bad Brexit agreement would have on the north-east.

    The North of England, which has been particularly hard-hit since Conservative austerity policies began to be implemented in the 1980s sees at least 60 percent of its external trade done with the European Union.

    "All of that could be at risk if we quit the EU customs union and the single market and are lumbered with new customs barriers, charges and unnecessary red tape," the MPs claimed in their statement about the effects of new customs and tariff systems that could be implemented once Britain is outside the EU.

    Under pressure from pro-EU factions in the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has adopted a compromise policy of keeping Britain in the European Customs Union but pulling out of the Single Market. He has also rejected the prospect of holding a second referendum.

    Mr. Corbyn's stances on Europe and Brexit have exposed him to repeated attempts by leading Remain Labour MPs to unseat him from the leadership of the party. 

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    remainers, second referendum, soft Brexit, Hard Brexit, Brexit, British Labour Party, Customs Union, European Union, Jeremy Corbyn, Europe, United Kingdom, England
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