Published: 16:04, 08 January 2021
| Updated: 16:06, 08 January 2021
A Kent MP says she still hopes the UK will rejoin the European Union - and that "the majority" of her Labour peers feel the same way.
Rosie Duffield, Labour MP for Canterbury and a staunch Remainer throughout the Brexit referendum battle, says she will "try and shift the leadership, as and when it needs to shift, towards rejoining".
Speaking on Huff Post's podcast Commons People, she said: "I'm not giving up.
"All the groups I was involved with are already calling themselves 'rejoiners'.
"I think maybe it's a little bit too soon but I think we may as well start to build the movement and look at that.
"Certainly groups in my patch of Kent - we're so near to the Europe, and we've got so many EU citizens that live and commute - they're already saying right come on, what can we do, how can we get back?
"Those groups are already rearing to go. I don't know politically how long it's going to take to just let the dust settle a little bit, but I'll be there won't I? It's inevitable really."
"The kind of liberal elite if you like, represented by people like me; they still vote."
She claims that "the majority" of the Parliamentary Labour Party share her stance.
"We don't need converting again," she said. "All that hurt is still there. We're still desperate to rejoin at heart."
She added that while some MPs would be happy to simply see Britain forger a closer relationship with the EU, "there are people like me that want to rejoin".
Boris Johnson's Brexit trade deal cleared Parliament on December 30, after it was voted through by 521 MPs to 73.
Labour backed the deal, with Party leader Sir Keir Starmer saying while the agreement is “thin” with “many flaws”, the alternative would be to leave the EU single market and customs union with no agreement, pushing up prices and driving businesses to the wall.
While Labour MPs were whipped to vote in favour of the Bill, Ms Duffield, a self-proclaimed "rebellious backbencher", defied the whips by abstaining.
Speaking on Huff Post's podcast, she said: "Most people on the front bench who voted for this deal last week did it with a very heavy heart.
"They haven't given up either.
"We will try and shift the leadership, as and when it needs to shift, towards rejoining [the EU]."
But she says an earnest campaign for the nation towards rejoining is not likely to take place for several years.
Ms Duffield said: "Possibly we might even have a different set-up, a different leader by then, who knows? We're not talking in the next five years, realistically."
As other podcast guests intimated Sir Keir is waiting to see how the newly agreed trade deal pans out before making his stance on the agreement clear, Ms Duffield called for more honesty.
She said the Labour Party cannot afford to dismiss the "liberal elite" if it wants to hold on to voters in Kent.
"Look at London and the south east," she said. "We could see them turning against Labour if we don't start to be much more honest about these trade deals and our relationship with Europe.
"The kind of liberal elite if you like, represented by people like me; they still vote.
"They vote and they campaign and they march and they make their voices heard, so Keir can't afford to just completely dismiss that group of people as well."