UK's opposition Labour Party makes new attempt to stop no-deal Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn proposes to lead a caretaker cabinet after a non confidence vote

Photo: EPA Jeremy Corbyn

Britain's opposition Labour Party will try to help block a no-deal Brexit by bringing down PM Boris Johnson's administration in a no confidence vote and forming a caretaker cabinet, news wires reported. Its leader Jeremy Corbin wrote a letter to leaders of other political parties and several senior Conservatives opposed to a disorderly exit from the EU, saying his "strictly time-limited temporary government" would delay Brexit and hold a general election.

He said Labour would campaign in the election to hold a second referendum on the Brexit terms, including an option as to whether the country should remain in the bloc three years after it voted to leave. "This government has no mandate for No Deal, and the 2016 EU referendum provided no mandate for No Deal," Corbyn said. "I therefore intend to table a vote of no confidence at the earliest opportunity when we can be confident of success."

Johnson pledges to take Britain out of the EU by 31 October, with or without a deal, setting the scene for a showdown in parliament where lawmakers are opposed to a divorce without a transition agreement. A spokeswoman for Johnson's Downing Street office said the choice was clear: "This government believes the people are the masters and votes should be respected, Jeremy Corbyn believes that the people are the servants and politicians can cancel public votes they don't like."

Jo Swinson, the new leader of the pro-EU Liberal Democrat party which has 14 lawmakers in the 650-seat parliament, described the proposal as "nonsense." "Jeremy Corbyn is not the person who is going to be able to build an even temporary majority in the House of Commons for this task," she said. She is due to set out her own proposal on Thursday to work with other parties to block a no-deal Brexit.

Other opposition lawmakers were more supportive. Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru was open to a unity government that must have "stopping Brexit" as its first priority, lawmaker Liz Saville Roberts said. The parliamentary leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Ian Blackford, said his party "will vote against this Prime Minister and his government when the opportunity arises."Green Party lawmaker Caroline Lucas said she would back a no-confidence vote, but wanted some other lawmaker than Corbyn to lead a caretaker government.

Lawmakers will return from their summer break on 3 September, reconvening for a battle over Brexit that will determine the fortunes of the world's fifth-largest economy. Were Johnson's government to lose a no-confidence vote, lawmakers would have a 14-day period to try to form a new administration, otherwise a general election would be called, but they could be held after 31 October.





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