Labour MP Sarah Champion: I would back a no-deal Brexit

Sarah Champion on BBC's Politics Live. Photograph: BBC.

Sarah Champion on BBC's Politics Live. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: Archant

Labour MP Sarah Champion has said that she would be back a no-deal Brexit, despite her party leadership warning that it would be devastating for jobs.

When asked by the BBC's Politics Live programme whether she would vote to block a no-deal Brexit, she said: "It's the awful question, which I knew you were going to ask, but I have to caveat it that I want us to leave. The country wants us to leave, for our democracy I think we have to leave. I think therefore if it came to it, I would take no deal, if that meant we could leave, because we have to leave."

As it was pointed out to her that she did not vote for Theresa May's deal, Champion defended herself. She said: "Because there were so many opportunities for Theresa May to put in things which didn't need to go back to the EU, that would guarantee workers' rights, environmental rights, equality rights..."

Tory MP Mark Harper and former leadership contestant told her: "You just said you'd prefer to do no-deal than not leave at all, but you weren't prepared to vote for the deal you had the chance to vote for three times, I really don't understand it."

MORE: An open letter to Labour MPs who oppose a second referendum

She said: "It's poker isn't it? I hoped she would listen to what the Labour frontbench was saying and move, and she didn't."

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When it was suggested she had moved by presenter Jo Cowburn, Champion replied: "The extent she moved essentially caused her to be sacked."

The Rotherham MP campaigned for Remain during the 2016 EU referendum.

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According to her tweets she called for voters to back the EU to "protect jobs and £220bn worth of exports a year to the UK economy".

The former shadow minister for women and equalities is one of those MPs who have been at odds with the Labour Party position.

While Lisa Nandy has opposed a second referendum she has said revoking Article 50 would be better than no deal, but Caroline Flint has similarly argued against stopping Brexit.

The Labour Party has consistently argued that a no-deal Brexit party would be devestating.

Jeremy Corbyn said: "It would be completely unacceptable.

"If there's no deal then you're looking at a cliff edge, there has to be an agreement, there has to be a transition period."

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