Starmer’s plot to use Brexit to win back the North after voters deserted Labour last year

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Labour suffered a colossal defeat in the December 2019 general election, with the Tories tearing down the party’s so-called “red wall”. Long-standing supporters deserted Labour in protest of the party’s confused Brexit stance. But Sir Keir Starmer has come up with a way to help “put the issue to bed for good” and win back support from the industrial heartlands.

The new leader is set to order Labour MPs to back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal in the House of Commons.

He is expected to urge his party to support “almost any trade deal” agreed with Brussels in the coming days and weeks.

By taking such an approach, they hope to “put the issue to bed for good” and start winning back the trust of the party’s traditional voters, according to shadow cabinet sources.

The Labour Party has said “no decision has been taken about whipping or on votes”.

But Rachel Reeves, a close ally of Sir Keir, is understood to have told Labour MPs the Labour leader is leaning towards backing the plan, according to The Sun.

If Labour does back the Government’s Brexit deal, it could prove highly beneficial for the Prime Minister, as Labour’s support would give him more wiggle room if any Tory MPs vote against the deal.

Theresa May suffered several humiliating defeats in the Commons when trying to pass Brexit legislation, as members of her own party revolted against her.

Last September, Mr Johnson stripped the whip from 21 Tory MPs, including nine former cabinet ministers, for rebelling against the Government in an attempt to block a no deal Brexit.

Over six weeks later, he readmitted 10 of the rebels back to the party.

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The UK has yet to secure a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, but an agreement is reportedly within touching distance.

Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said negotiators are currently “working around the clock to get a deal”.

The two sides don’t have long left, as after a deal has been agreed it needs to be ratified by both respective Parliaments.

The European Commission have given an absolute deadline of December 15 for a deal to be reached.

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Earlier today European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned there is no guarantee of a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, warning the coming days will be crucial if the two sides are to come to an agreement.

She told the European Parliament: “The next days are going to be decisive.

“The European Union is well prepared for a no deal scenario.

“With very little time ahead of us, we will do all in our power to reach an agreement. We are ready to be creative

The top eurocrat said disputes over fisheries, future common standards, including state aid rules, and policing the final agreement remained.

But she did say many areas of the draft agreement are starting to take shape.

Ms von der Leyen said: “These are decisive days for our negotiations with the United Kingdom. But, frankly, I cannot tell you today if, in the end, there will be a deal.”

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