Peers voted overwhelmingly against the proposal this evening, with one frontbencher slapping it down as “unrealistic”.
By a margin of 299 to 136, with a majority of 163, peers chose not to slow down the bills passage through the House after it successfully passed through the Commons earlier this month.
Nonetheless, the move did expose deep divisions within Labour as former Cabinet ministers Lord Hain and Lord Mandelson spoke in support of the change – contrary to the frontbench stance.
In total, some 33 Labour peers backed the unsuccessful amendment, including Lord Hain, Lord Mandelson, Lord Cashman, Lord Bragg and Lord Foulkes of Cumnock. One Tory peer, Baroness Wheatcroft, also voted for it.
Former business secretary Lord Mandelson warned in the committee stage debate on the Bill it would be an “economic disaster” for Britain to leave the single market.