LABOUR MPs are being urged not to defy the leadership’s orders by opposing the Brexit trade deal with the EU despite grave concerns over the treaty.

Sir Keir Starmer has ordered his MPs to back the agreement, arguing it is far better than the alternative outcome of a chaotic No-Deal.

There have been suggestions that shadow ministers could resign in order to defy a three-line whip when the House of Commons votes on the pact this week.

One MP told The Guardian: "We seem to be making a stand over a Conservative project. It is deeply uncomfortable for some MPs."

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Another added: “We are being asked to support a Boris Johnson deal that is full of holes, on issues of security, fishing rights or level playing fields. Plus, it is going to go through anyway on Tory votes alone. I do not understand Keir’s position.”

Today, shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds (below) said MPs must support the deal in order to give certainty to businesses ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period.

The National:

Asked about a possible rebellion, she told BBC Breakfast: “I obviously don’t want to see that, I want to see a situation where we have as much certainty for businesses as possible.

“We’ve heard for example that there may well be some members of the European Research Group on the Conservative side who are saying that they are going to be voting against this implementing legislation – I don’t think that’s sensible.

“I’m not going to say to you that this is the deal that Labour would have secured because it really isn’t – this is a thin deal – but we don’t want to create more problems for businesses right now by preventing the implementation of what the Government has achieved.”

Labour is maintaining its stance on voting for the deal despite the IPPR think tank warning it may risk the erosion of workers’ rights and environmental protections.

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With Labour’s backing, the deal will almost certainly be approved by Parliament.  SNP MPs have said they will not support the deal.

Some Labour MPs have lobbied for the party to instead abstain on the vote so it can effectively hold the Conservatives to account for any financial harm caused by Brexit.

But Starmer, who campaigned to remain within the EU and was Jeremy Corbyn's shadow Brexit secretary, argued “it is not credible for Labour to be on the sidelines”.