A group of Labour MPs is trying to force a vote giving Parliament the right to decide on whether the UK should remain in the European Union single market.

They are pushing for Prime Minister Theresa May to delay triggering Article 50 until such a vote is held in Parliament.

In an amendment tabled to the Withdrawal from the European Bill, 10 Labour backbenchers, including a number of former shadow cabinet ministers, are seeking a delay in the formal start to Brexit talks until Parliament "has determined whether the UK should also seek to withdraw from the European Economic Area," The Independent reports.

May has already made it clear that she intends to pull the UK out of the single market. In a speech on 17 January, the prime minister ruled out a "half-in, half-out" split from the economic and political bloc.

"Being out of the EU but a member of the single market would mean complying with the EU's rules and regulations that implement those freedoms, without having a vote on what those rules and regulations are.

"It would mean accepting a role for the European Court of Justice that would see it still having direct legal authority in our country,. It would to all intents and purposes mean not leaving the EU at all," May said.

The amendment to the bill was put forward by Wes Streeting, the MP for Ilford North and a member of the Treasury Select Committee. The amendment is backed by senior Labour MPs, including Chuka Umunna, the former shadow business secretary, Heidi Alexander, the former shadow health secretary and Maria Eagle, the newspaper said.

It states: "The Prime Minister may not give the notification at section (1) until such time as Parliament has determined whether the UK should also seek to withdraw from the European Economic Area in accordance with Article 127 of the EEA."

Jobs and livelihoods riding on single market membership

Theresa May
Will Parliament get to decide whether the UK should remain in the single market?iStock, Getty Images

Streeting told The Independent: "Throughout the referendum campaign prominent members of the Leave campaign gave assurances that leaving the EU would not mean leaving the single market. The Conservative manifesto committed to keeping us in the single market.

"In the absence of a mandate to quit the single market, the government must now allow Parliament to decide our future trading relationship with the EU."

The MP insisted that he believed membership of the single market was the best possible trading relationship, and that it was "a better deal than we would get from other nations." He said it would also be preferable to lengthy trade talks with the EU which could take up to a decade. "Jobs and livelihoods are riding on this."

Other amendments that have been tabled includes one by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, which demands that Parliament be given regular updates on Brexit talks and that the devolved assemblies be consulted.

The Labour party, according to The Independent, is also seeking that the UK gets tariff-free access to the single market.

The paper said another group of Labour backbenchers, led by Owen Smith, is demanding that the Article 50 vote be delayed until a full White Paper stating the government's plan for Brexit talks be published.