SHADOW Brexit secretary Keir Starmer was pushed to the brink of resignation after Jeremy Corbyn and his allies tried to kick his customs union plan into the long grass earlier this year, it has emerged.

Labour’s Brexit policy has developed through a series of internal negotiations among senior figures and yesterday it was reported that a particularly fraught session took place at the party’s Brexit subcommittee early this year.

Insiders claimed the Corbyn camp ambushed Starmer with a paper which shelved the decision on joining a customs union, a policy he had been supporting privately for weeks.

Several people present at the meeting said the general feeling in the room was that Starmer was willing to resign rather than accept the proposals.

A witness to the confrontation told a national newspaper: “Jeremy started speaking, and Keir just said, enough, this was just completely outrageous. He did lose his temper. I think they were genuinely shocked at his reaction. They tried to bounce him and it completely backfired.”

Starmer and his backers on the Brexit subcommittee, including Labour’s leader in the Lords, Angela Smith, and Owen Smith, who was then shadow Northern Ireland secretary, argued a customs union was the only way to safeguard manufacturing supply chains and avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland.

But members of Corbyn’s inner shadow cabinet were said to be keen to ensure any stance the party ultimately took could reconcile the Brexit Leavers and Remainers. Details of the clash emerged as the party confronts another critical moment in the evolution of its Brexit policy, with hundreds of delegates at Labour’s conference in Liverpool, which starts at the weekend, planning to force the issue of a second referendum.

Meanwhile, as the Brexit negotiations enter a critical phase, the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee has launched a call for evidence, as part of its on-going scrutiny of the Article 50 Negotiations, looking at what impact the talks are having on Scotland’s individuals, businesses and organisations.

The Chequers plan, Canada plus, a “blind Brexit” and no deal are just some of the terms that have become part of the everyday language of Brexit. As the UK Government continues to negotiate the terms of the Article 50 withdrawal from the EU, the Committee wants to know what impact these negotiations, and the uncertainty created, has had on Scotland.

Committee Convener, Joan McAlpine MSP said: “Terms like Blind Brexit, no deal and the Chequers Plan have become an all too familiar part of the daily commentary. But what is behind the headlines, and what it is all too easy to forget is that Brexit – no matter how this looks – will have a very real impact on people, businesses and organisations throughout Scotland. “

The Committee is looking for views on a range of matters including what impact the Article 50 negotiations have had upon people, businesses and organisations to date; what preparations, if any, are being made by them and what would be the impact of a no-deal outcome.