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Jeremy Corbyn warns shadow cabinet on Brexit vote consequences

Jeremy Corbyn has warned members of his top team it will be "impossible" to keep their jobs if they vote against triggering the start of Britain's divorce from the European Union (EU).

The Labour leader is facing a growing revolt o ver Brexit after two resignations from his front bench, with more expected to come.

Mr Corbyn said he had made it clear that Article 50 "has to be implemented" but insisted the party planned to secure crucial amendments.

He told ITV One's Peston on Sunday : "There was no need for anyone to resign at this stage.

"It's obviously impossible to carry on being in the shadow cabinet if you vote against a decision made after a very frank and very long discussion of the shadow cabinet earlier this week."

Jo Stevens became the first member of the shadow cabinet to quit after the party leader said he would impose a three-line whip requiring MPs to support the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.

Standing down as shadow Welsh secretary, she said Brexit was a ''terrible mistake''.

Her resignation followed Tulip Siddiq's announcement she was quitting as a shadow education minister and two Labour whips - meant to enforce party discipline - indicated they would rebel in next week's vote.

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson said the divisions in the party would be handled sensitively and suggested some of the rebels could be back in senior roles within months.

Some 40 MPs from opposition parties have backed an amendment to the Bill on triggering Article 50 calling for Theresa May to set out how pledges to increase NHS spending made by Brexit campaigners, including Cabinet ministers, will be dealt with.

Labour's Chuka Umunna, chairman of the Vote Leave Watch campaign, said: "The Prime Minister likes to say that Brexit means Brexit.

"If that is true, it has to mean that the most high-profile Leave campaign promise will be kept and that £350 million more a week will be spent on our NHS after we leave the EU.

"The people's verdict in the referendum was surely predicated on the Leave campaign's biggest promise coming true - people will regard it as a gross betrayal if this pledge is not delivered.

"I urge MPs from all parties, whether they voted Leave or Remain, to support this amendment.

"We need the Government to admit the real impact Brexit will have on NHS funding - and hold ministers like Boris Johnson to account if it is shown that they misled the public."

The Scottish National Party has set out details of some of the 50 amendments it is planning to put down.

It wants to block Article 50 being triggered until Brussels agrees that any failure to back the deal in Parliament will result in a "reset to the position of the UK in the EU on existing terms".

It also wants an agreement that the f irst ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must unanimously agree before the process is invoked and a guarantee that a separate deal allowing Scotland to remain in the single market will be negotiated.

Alex Salmond, the SNP's international affairs spokesman, said: "The Prime Minister is intent on fast-tracking this Bill to avoid parliamentary and public scrutiny and to duck the big questions on a hard Tory Brexit.

"She is rushing towards her own cliff edge and taking the rest of the country with her. Her behaviour is a contempt of Parliament and defies logic and reason.

"If Theresa May opts to defy both rationale and reason and refuses to publish a White Paper before the committee stage that sets out the UK's plan, or answer to the SNP's amendments, then let it be clear; the SNP will fight tooth and nail at both Holyrood and at Westminster to hold this Tory government to account - Article 50 must not be triggered before we have answers."

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