There was confusion over Labour's stance on a second European Union referendum after the shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer made an unscripted commitment in a speech that "nobody is ruling out Remain as an option" on the ballot paper.
Party members will be asked to agree that "if we can not get a general election, Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote".
His declaration that "nobody is ruling out Remain as an option" was not included in printed copies of his speech distributed to the media, sparking speculation that he may have gone beyond the position agreed by Labour's high command.
More than 100 local Labour constituency parties sent motions to Liverpool calling for the party to evolve its position over Brexit.
Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement, thrusting the world's fifth largest economy into a "no-deal" Brexit that they say would spook financial markets and silt up the arteries of trade.
At a conference fringe event Sir Keir Starmer said he did not know whether Brexit day would be delayed if the Government's proposals were voted down in Parliament or if an election put Labour into power.
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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn backed his Brexit spokesman, but declined to say which way he would vote in a possible second referendum because "it depends what the question is". "That is what Labour members and supporters want and it is the direction in which Labour are now travelling", she said.
He told Sky News: "We will vote against (a deal) if it doesn't meet our six tests".
However, any post-Brexit immigration policy could be affected by Britain's future trade deals. After a meeting of her divided Cabinet on Monday, May's Downing St. office said hers is "the only plan on the table. and she remains confident of securing a deal with the European Union".
Brendan Chilton, general secretary of Brexit campaigning group Labour Leave, accused Starmer of launching a leadership bid. "I think a bad deal would be a deal that broke up the United Kingdom", May said when asked whether a no-deal Brexit was better than one similar to the existing Canada-EU trade deal.
But the way ahead is far from clear and polls show the country is still more or less divided on Brexit - although a narrow majority might now support staying in the EU.
Splits emerged at the top of the party yesterday after McDonnell suggested remaining in the European Union should not be an option given to voters.
"This isn't about frustrating the process", he said. "It's about fighting for our values and about fighting for our country".