It was today revealed that Labour will demand the next Prime Minister puts their Brexit plan to the public in a second referendum and, if the deal does meet the party’s objectives, Jeremy Corbyn said he will campaign to Remain.
The PT asked Ms Forbes what she would do if Labour backed a second referendum.
She said: “I campaigned and said I would support a deal that protects jobs, protects people’s living standards, protects the environment and consumer protections and workers’ rights as well. I’ve not moved from that position.
“The problem is it’s now three years on from the referendum. Theresa May has brought a deal to Parliament three times now that has been rejected, not only by Labour MPs because it didn’t do the things that I’ve just mentioned, but by her own MPs who didn’t feel it was a good deal. And they’ve wasted time.
“Now, the country is in crisis. We’re heading towards Brexit day when we’re supposed to be leaving and they’ve engaged in a leadership battle. At a time when we need strong and stable leadership, they’ve engaged in trying to find a new leader.
“The numbers haven’t changed in Parliament, so whoever is leading the Conservatives is going to have the same problem.
“I’m going to look at any deal that comes forward. I’m not going to vote for anything that’s going to make this city poorer. It’s had 10 years of austerity and can’t afford anything that’s going to impact that and make things worse for people.
“So whatever deal they bring forward I will look at and I will listen to the debates in Parliament, and if I feel it’s a good deal for the people of Peterborough and we’re not going to lose people’s jobs or workers’ rights, then I will vote for it.”
Asked if there was only a choice between backing a second referendum, or seeing the UK leave without a deal, Ms Forbes said a no deal would be “catastrophic”, and that businesses had contacted her saying they would be forced to lay off staff.
She added: “Nobody knows what’s going to happen. I’m not going to bind my hands now by talking about what-ifs.
“I don’t think Peterborough can afford a no deal Brexit and I won’t be voting for it. I don’t think the Tories want a no deal Brexit either, they want a deal.
“I don’t think the referendum result was we (just) Leave, it was always going to be that we had a deal with our closest trading partner. This is a huge market in the world right on our doorstep. It would be crazy to assume that we don’t have any kind of trading relationship with them.
“So I think the Tories do want a deal, and I’m looking forward to them bringing that deal back to Parliament. And if it passes the tests that I talked about I will vote for that deal.”
More than 62 per cent of the Peterborough constituency voted to Leave in the 2016 referendum.
The full interview can be read in Thursday’s Peterborough Telegraph.