UK Politics

Dan Jarvis: Labour 'needs collective view' on Brexit

Dan Jarvis Image copyright PA
Image caption Dan Jarvis represents a constituency where most backed a Leave vote

Labour has to form a "collective view" in favour of triggering Brexit, according to one of its MPs.

Dan Jarvis said Jeremy Corbyn was "absolutely right" to suggest shadow cabinet members should quit if they will not back the government's bill.

The draft legislation, to authorise giving notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, will be debated by MPs on Tuesday.

Two shadow ministers have quit, saying they want to vote against it.

Other senior MPs are expected to rebel against the party line.

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to invoke Article 50 - which begins two years of exit negotiations - by the end of March. She was forced to draw up a new law after the Supreme Court said Parliament had to be consulted.

The European Union (Notification of withdrawal) Bill gets its second reading in the Commons on Tuesday.

Mr Jarvis, whose Barnsley Central constituency strongly backed a Leave vote, said Mr Corbyn was right to impose a three-line whip on his party to back it.

"On what is the biggest political challenge of our generation it's absolutely right and necessary we come together and form a collective view about the future of our country as we leave the European Union," he told BBC Radio 4's The Westminster Hour.

"We have to accept the judgment that was reached by the country. It is the right thing as a party that we coalesce around a single view."

Mr Jarvis said he understood the Article 50 bill would present Labour MPs with "very difficult judgments" but added: "I think it is the right thing to do for us a party to agree what our line is, what our position is going to be and bring people together around that formed view."

Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens and Tulip Siddiq, who was an early years spokeswoman, both quit last week, saying they wanted to oppose Article 50.