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UK opposition seeks Brexit bill amendment to prevent 'no deal' scenario


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UK opposition seeks Brexit bill amendment to prevent 'no deal' scenario

The U.K.'s opposition Labour Party said it will propose legislation to prevent Britain's departure from the EU without an agreement with the bloc, as it demanded that Parliament be given the final say on the government's Brexit deal.

Labour's Brexit policy chief Keir Starmer called for a new approach to Brexit, saying the party will push for an amendment to the government's key Brexit bill that would remove the possibility of a "no deal" scenario if Parliament votes against the U.K.'s final exit agreement with the EU.

Starmer said the amendment would provide a "safety valve" and avoid putting British jobs and the economy at risk.

"If Parliament rejects the terms of the Prime Minister's deal that would not give her licence to crash out without an agreement," Starmer said in remarks prepared for delivery in Birmingham. "Far from it: that would be the worst of all possible worlds."

"So working with others – Labour will ensure that an amendment is introduced to the EU Withdrawal Bill to strengthen the terms of the meaningful vote. The amendment will make clear that – should the Prime Minister's proposed Article 50 deal be defeated – it would then be for Parliament to say what happens next, not the Executive," he added.

Starmer said the government should return to the negotiating table and secure a better deal for the U.K. if parliament rejects its Brexit bill.

On March 19, Britain and the EU reached a draft 21-month Brexit transition agreement, which will allow the U.K. to negotiate trade deals with other countries during the transition period.

The deal, which will not be binding without a final accord, also sets out how Britain's monetary obligations to the EU will be calculated.