Rotherham MP Sarah Champion among six Labour rebels to back Boris Johnson's Brexit vote

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Rotherham MP Sarah Champion was one of six Labour politicians to rebel against their party today to back the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

Britain took a big step closer to leaving the EU today as Boris Johnson's Brexit deal was backed by a large majority of MPs.

Rotherham MP, Labour's Sarah Champion. Photo: JPI Media

Rotherham MP, Labour's Sarah Champion. Photo: JPI Media

The second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill was passed by 358 votes to 234, majority 124 - and those who supported it included Rotherham’s Ms Champion.

Earlier in the year she told the Guardian she would rather take no deal over no Brexit, and Rotherham voted 67.9 per cent to Leave in the 2016 referendum.

And speaking to The Yorkshire Post after the vote she said: “I was clear to my constituents that I would work to secure a Brexit deal and today’s vote is an important step on that path.”

Today was the first chance MPs had to vote on the deal since last week's General Election which handed the Conservatives a commanding Commons majority.

The move came after Mr Johnson insisted Leave and Remain labels were now defunct and the country should "move on" ahead of the scheduled EU exit on January 31.

After months of delay and deadlock, the PM said now was the time to act and forge a new relationship with the rest of Europe as his deal passed another stage of its parliamentary process.

Mr Johnson urged Parliament to come together and allow the "warmth and natural affection that we all share" for the UK's European neighbours to "find renewed expression in one great new national project".

The PM told MPs the Bill must not be seen as a victory for one party or faction before adding: "This is the time when we move on and discard the old labels of Leave and Remain.

"In fact, the very words seem tired to me - as defunct as Big-enders and Little-enders, or Montagues and Capulets at the end of the play,” he said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn labelled the Government's handling of Brexit as a "national embarrassment" since 2016, as he said his party "recognises the clear message" from voters at the election but confirmed Labour would not support the Bill.

Despite that six Labour MPs rebelled, Ms Champion plus Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire), Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham), Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields), Grahame Morris (Easington), and Toby Perkins (Chesterfield).

Other Yorkshire Labour MPs Tracy Brabin, Imran Hussain, Naz Shah, Rosie Winterton, Ed Miliband, Holly Lynch, Karl Turner, Diana Johnson, Emma Hardy, Hilary Benn, Richard Burgon, Fabian Hamilton, Alex Sobel, Rachel Reeves, Yvette Cooper, Gill Furniss, Paul Blomfield, Olivia Blake, Louise Haigh, Clive Betts, and Rachael Maskell all voted against the deal.

But Dan Jarvis, Stephanie Peacock, Judith Cummins, Jon Trickett, Barry Sheerman, and John Healey did not vote. Neither did Tories Stuart Andrew or Philip Davies.