Brexit: Jess Phillips could campaign to rejoin EU if she becomes Labour leader
‘If our country is safer and more economically viable in the EU, then I will fight for that regardless of how difficult that argument is to make’
Meanwhile, Lisa Nandy set out her stall by saying she would ditch Labour’s multibillion-pound plan to provide free superfast broadband across the country, because there were “more pressing issues”.
Ms Phillips said she had campaigned for Remain and a Final Say referendum, despite representing a Leave seat in Birmingham, because “it was the best thing for the country and I’m not going to just change my mind on that”.
Asked if that made her “a rejoiner”, she replied: “We have to wait and see the situation where we are. People can sit and pretend that they know what it’s going to be but that is just a lie.”
Ms Phillips added: “Our job is for the next three years is to hold Boris Johnson to account on all the promises.
“So, if we are living in an absolute paradise of trade and we’re totally safe in the world and we’re not worrying about having to constantly look to America for our safety and security, then maybe I’ll be proven wrong.
“But the reality is, if our country is safer, if it is more economically viable to be in the European Union, then I will fight for that regardless of how difficult that argument is to make.”
In contrast, Sir Keir said the campaign for a fresh referendum “blew away” with the election result and that the conversation must “move on” to the realities of future trade deals.
Also speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the shadow Brexit secretary criticised Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to take “a stronger position one way or the other”.
But he argued Labour lost because of several reasons which caused it to “lose the public’s trust”, saying: “There were many of them, but they were the leadership, rightly or wrongly, fairly or unfairly, [which] was coming up everywhere.
“The Brexit position and whether we were persuading people, more importantly, whether we were knocking down the Tories claim that they would get Brexit done.”
Sir Keir added: “We’re going to leave the EU in the next few weeks. It is inevitable that Boris Johnson and his government will look to America for a trade deal, and we need to know the terms of that.”
Asked what she regretted about Labour’s manifesto, Ms Nandy said: “First of all I wouldn’t have been offering free broadband.
“People said to us ‘it’s all very well promising free broadband but can you sort out the buses?’ and that was the more pressing issue in their lives.
“It’s not about whether you’re radical or not it’s about whether you’re relevant.”