Rosie Duffield quizzes Boris Johnson in PMQs during lockdown
Rosie Duffield said her colleagues “haven’t given up” on membership of the bloc and would eventually “try and shift the leadership”. The former shadow minister said she represents the “liberal elite” and warned leader Sir Keir Starmer not to dismiss their views. Most of the shadow frontbench voted for the Brexit trade deal “with a very heavy heart and they haven’t given up either”, she admitted.
“We will try and shift the leadership, as and when it needs to shift towards rejoining I would imagine,” Ms Duffield told the HuffPost.
“Possibly we might even have a different sort of set up, a different leader by then, who knows.
“We’re not talking in the next five years realistically.”
Ms Duffied revealed remainers are already regrouping and have started plotting to rejoin.
“All the groups I was involved with are already calling themselves rejoiners and are starting to think about that,” she said.
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“I think maybe it’s a little bit too soon but we might as well start to build a movement and look at that.”
Sir Keir ordered his party to back Boris Johnson’s free trade deal with the EU last month.
But three frontbenchers quit in protest and a total of 36 Labour MPs abstained in the vote.
The Labour leader was in charge of the party’s Brexit policy under Jeremy Corbyn but now insists that the “remain/leave argument is over” and he will not seek major changes in the UK’s relationship with the EU in the future.
Shadow Cabinet minister Rachel Reeves said the relationship with Brussels will be close but Labour would not rejoin the bloc.
But Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said it is clear there is a “danger” that Brexit would be reversed under a Labour government.
“People should bear that in mind every time they go to vote,” he said.
“Labour would laugh in the face of democracy.
“Any MP who does not think that we can pass better laws for the UK in Westminster than they can in Brussels does not deserve a seat in our Parliament.
“They are the self-proclaimed liberal elite who think they know better than the people and Keir Starmer was the architect of their Remain policy.”
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