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  • Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, speaks to the public during an election campaign visit in the centre of Crewe April 22, 2017.

    Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, speaks to the public during an election campaign visit in the centre of Crewe April 22, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 August 2019

Britain's Labour Party pushes for anti-Brexit coalition that could lead to another Brexit referendum.

Britain's Labour Party is urging rebel lawmakers in the ruling Conservatives party to help block a no-deal Brexit by bringing down Prime Minister Boris Johnson's administration and allowing its leader Jeremy Corbyn to form an interim government.

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Recently-elected Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the European Union by Oct. 31, with or without a deal. This will likely set the scene for a parliamentary showdown between supporters and those demanding a transition agreement.

In a letter to opposition party leaders and several senior Conservatives opposed to a no-deal exit, Corbyn said his "strictly time-limited temporary government" would delay Brexit to hold a general election.

He said Labour would campaign in the election to hold a second public 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."

A spokeswoman for Johnson 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."

Lawmakers return to session Sept. 3, reconvening for a Brexit debate that will determine the long-term economic future of the world's fifth-largest economy.

Johnson, who led the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, has staked his premiership on getting Britain out by Oct. 31, prompting politicians from all sides to try to stop him.

On Wednesday, he said those trying to block Brexit were engaged in "a terrible kind of collaboration," after former finance minister Philip Hammond said parliament would block a no-deal exit and that the government must respect it.

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, which could be held after Oct. 31.

Opponents of a no-deal exit say it would be a disaster for what was one of the world’s most stable democracies, shattering supply chains, damaging global growth, and weakening Britain's standing in the world.

Brexit supporters say while there may be short-term disruption, it would provide a clean break from the bloc and supposedly allow the economy to thrive.

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