Jess Phillips, who is standing to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, told Andrew Marr she would be willing to “fight” for the UK to rejoin the EU should she win the leadership challenge and become the next Prime Minister in 2025. The Birmingham Yardley MP insisted the UK would have to be “economically stable” and safe from external threats before taking on the challenge but her comment sparked fury on social media. One Twitter user said: “Excellent news for Boris Johnson as Labour leader candidate Jess Phillips wants UK to campaign to return to the EU if elected!! Have UK Labour learnt nothing?”
Another user said: “Jess Phillips on Andrew Marr saying she holds a Leave seat but will always think the UK is better off in the EU and will not change her mind.
“Hope her constituents were watching her put 2 fingers up to them! Don’t bother voting in her ward, she knows better than all you plebs.”
One Twitter user questioned whether Ms Phillips still represented her constituents despite having been returned to her seat in the Dember election albeit with a reduced majority.
They wrote: “Jess Phillips watching you on #Marr, you want to represent the country. But you campaigned for Remain but you stood in the largest Leave constituency.
“You’re there to represent your constituents. So tell us again, who do you represent? You? Or your constituents? Simple question.”
Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe said: “If the next Labour leader goes into any election backing ‘rejoin’ then they have learnt absolutely nothing.
“They just sacrificed their working-class support and look where it got them. Let’s hope they’re stupid enough to go for it!”
And one user warned the policy of rejoining the European Union in the future would just lead to “continuing chaos” in the party and the country: “Labour leadership candidate Jess Phillips just admitted on #Marr that if she wins she could support rejoining the EU. Have they learned nothing? #continuingchaos”
Ms Phillips said the Labour Party had to accept Brexit is now an inevitability after Boris Johnson secured an 80-strong majority at the general election.
But when asked whether she would campaign in the future to have the UK become a member of the European Union once again, she admitted she could come to support the policy.
Speaking to Andrew Marr on Sunday, the Labour MP said: “Boris Johnson has a majority of 80, the Labour Party losing the election has consequences that we have to deal with.
“I have to face the fact that, as somebody who has a Leave seat but campaigned for Remain because I thought it was the best thing for the people that I represent and I thought it was the right thing for the country – I am not going to change my mind on that. But what we have to do it wait and see the situation where we are.
“People can sit and pretend they know what is going to happen but it’s just a lie. “
She continued: “We have to wait and see but I will always think we are better off, we are safer in the EU. You would have to look at what was going on at the time.
“What our job is for the next five years is to hold Boris Johnson to account for all his promises.
“If we are living an absolute paradise of trade and we are totally safe in the world and we are not worried about having to constantly worry about looking to America for our safety and security…
“If our country is safer, if it is more economically viable to be in the EU, then I will fight for that regardless of how difficult that argument is to make.”
Jess Phillips, who is standing to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, told Andrew Marr she would be willing to "fight" for the UK to rejoin the EU should she win the leadership challenge and become the next Prime Minister in 2025.