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British Labour leader Corbyn tilts toward new EU referendum option

British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday moved a step closer to paving the way for another referendum on European Union membership.

This he is trying to do by using parliament to grab control of Brexit from Prime Minister Theresa May.

With the clock ticking down to March 29, the date set in law for Brexit, the UK is in the deepest political crisis in half a century as it grapples with how, or even whether, to exit the European project it joined in 1973.

Brexit
A Scottish Saltire (C) flies between a Union flag (R) and a European Union (EU) flag, in front of the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh, on March 13, 2017.
Scotland’s announcement on Monday that it will begin preparations for a new independence bid raised the spectre of one of Brexit’s most feared consequences — the end of the United Kingdom. / AFP PHOTO

After May’s Brexit divorce deal was rejected by 432 to 202 lawmakers recently, the biggest defeat in modern British history, some lawmakers are trying to take control of Brexit from May’s weakened minority government.

May on Monday proposed tweaking her deal in a bid to win over rebel Conservative lawmakers and the Northern Irish party which props up her government.

Theresa May faces confidence vote today

However, Labour said May was in denial about the crushing defeat of her plans.

Labour put forward an amendment seeking to force the government to give parliament time to consider and vote on options to prevent a ‘no deal’ exit, a course May has repeatedly refused to rule out.

Labour said among the options should be a permanent customs union with the EU and a public vote on a deal, both proposals that May has ruled out.

As the British parliament, which traced its roots through 1,000 years of history, tried to avoid what most lawmakers think would be a disorderly Brexit without an approved deal, there is still no clear majority for an alternative option.

Lawmakers will debate and vote on the next step on Jan. 29.


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