In a shock move, Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield this evening defied Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership by voting in favour of Britain retaining full access to the single market.
Ms Duffield has also resigned her position as Parliamentary Private Secretary.
In a video statement on her website, she said: “I know that we voted as a nation to leave the EU, but think about Canterbury and our unique position in England.
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“We absolutely depend on Europe. The University of Kent, the European university, is the biggest employer in the area. We rely on the people who come to work there and are now part of our communities, our schools, they are our neighbours and our friends.
“We also need workers to support and prop up the NHS.”
The amendment from the House of Lords would have made remaining in the European Economic Area an objective in the Brexit negotiations.
The so-called Norway option is described by critics as the worst of all options as the UK would remain subject to trade rules and regulations without any control over them.
However, supporters of the amendment argue that within the EEA, the UK would enjoy full unimpeded access to the single market, freedom from the direct jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, while still being able to influence policy in a consultancy capacity in common with other EEA members.
The vote ultimately went in the government’s favour 327 to 201.
Theresa May’s administration lives to fight another day, but Mr Corbyn will come under renewed pressure to take a firmer stance on Brexit or risk a full-scale rebellion within his own party.
The Canterbury constituency voted to remain, while the district which includes Herne Bay voted narrowly to leave.