Labour MP Sarah Champion Backs No-Deal Over No Brexit

Arj Singh

Labour MP Sarah Champion has refused to commit to backing any attempt by Jeremy Corbyn to bring down the Tory government, stressing she would prefer no-deal to no Brexit.

The Rotherham MP said she did not know how she would act in a vote of no confidence designed to stop a no-deal Brexit.

She stressed “if it came to it I would take no-deal if that meant we could leave”, warning Corbyn against making Labour an outright Remain party.

A vote of no confidence to bring down the government is seen as a potential last resort for MPs looking to stop the new prime minister, whether Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, taking Britain out of the EU with no deal.

But the margins are tight and the admission from Labour MPs in Leave seats like Champion and Caroline Flint that they would prefer no-deal to no Brexit suggests a Tory PM may be able to force it through the Commons.

When asked whether she would back a vote of no confidence in the government, Champion told BBC Politics Live: “I don’t know.

“Ask me closer to the time.”

She warned that Labour would lose her support if it became an outright Remain party.

“If my party comes out as a Remain party rather than trying to find a deal or rather than trying to exit, I can’t support that, it goes against democracy,” she said.

Responding to “the awful question” of whether she would take no deal over no Brexit, Champion said: “I want us to leave, the country wants us to leave and for our democracy I think we have to leave.

“So therefore if it came to it I would take no deal if that meant we could leave.”

It comes after Johnson and Hunt appeared to dramatically up the chances of no deal by taking hardline negotiating positions on the Irish backstop.