Plans to position Labour as the party of ‘soft Brexit’ lead to concerns among MPs about alienating Brexit voters

Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, are facing a backlash from senior MPs in Labour’s traditional heartlands after announcing a dramatic shift in party policy to back continued membership of the EU single market beyond March 2019.

In a move that positions it decisively as the party of “soft Brexit”, Labour told the Observer that it would support full participation in the single market and customs union during a lengthy “transitional period” that it believes could last between two and four years after the day of departure.

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