Labour Leader Candidate Jess Phillips Pledges to Fight to Rejoin EU

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In the race to replace far-left Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party chief, Jess Phillips has staked out a Hard Remain position, vowing to “fight” to rejoin the European Union as leader.

The Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley, who announced on Friday her bid to replace septuagenarian socialist Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the Labour Party, told the BBC that as leader she would continue to make the argument for the United Kingdom to be a part of the European Union.

“If it’s safer, more economically viable, to be in the EU, I will fight for that, regardless of how difficult that argument is to make”, Phillips insisted.

“As somebody who has a Leave seat but campaigned for Remain, I thought it was the best thing for the people. I am not going just to just change my mind on that,” she vowed.

The MP’s comments were ridiculed by Rupert Lowe, a Brexit Party MEP, who wrote on Twitter that her Remainer stance would further alienate working-class voters.

“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”, Lowe wrote.

“Let’s hope they’re stupid enough to go for it!”

Ms Phillips’s comments on Brexit come in contrast to her opponent in the leadership race, millionaire lawyer Sir Keir Starmer, who has said that “the argument has to move on and we the Labour Party need to accept that Leave/Remain, that divide, goes in a few weeks time”.

“This election blew away the argument for a second referendum, rightly or wrongly, and we have to adjust to that situation”, Starmer added — although he has made similar claims about accepting Brexit before pushing to overturn it before.

Also this week, Jess Phillips lashed out at President Donald Trump over his handling of Iran, declaring that “I would have absolutely no problem in confronting Donald Trump”.

“Because the reason it feels reckless, the reason it feels dangerous, is because the faith that we have currently in the current Commander-in-Chief is we don’t know what the plan is. What’s his plan in taking this action, what plans are there for if it escalates, what are the diplomatic plans as well as interventionist plans?”

The timetable for the Labour leadership contest will be outlined by the party on Monday.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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