British lawmakers approve bill to prevent no-deal Brexit

British lawmakers voted on Wednesday to approve legislation that would force Prime Minister Theresa May to seek a delay to Brexit in order to prevent the risk of leaving without a deal on April 12. They voted by 315 to 310 in favor of the first stage.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Wednesday (April 3) that Prime Minister Theresa May had not moved far enough in crisis talks aimed at breaking the deadlock over Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The United Kingdom was supposed to leave the EU last Friday (March 29), but, nearly three years after Britons narrowly voted for Brexit in a referendum, it is still unclear how, when or even whether it will quit the bloc it joined in 1973.

After her EU withdrawal deal was rejected three times by lawmakers, May invited Corbyn, a veteran socialist, to talks in parliament to try to plot a way out of the crisis.

”There hasn’t been as much change as I expected,” Corbyn, 69, said. “The meeting was useful but inconclusive.”

Asked if May had accepted his preference for a post-Brexit customs union with the EU, he said: “We did have a discussion about all of that.”

Corbyn is under pressure from some in his party not to agree a Brexit deal without ensuring that it can be confirmed or rejected in a new referendum that also offers the option to stay in the EU.

A Downing Street spokesman said the meeting, which lasted an hour and 40 minutes, had been “constructive, with both sides showing flexibility and a commitment to bring the current Brexit uncertainty to a close”.

May’s overture to Corbyn, whose party has 245 out of 650 lawmakers, offers a possible way for her to secure a majority for an exit deal as she seeks a second short delay to Brexit.

May’s last-ditch approach to Corbyn, who is loathed by many of her Conservatives and mocked by May herself as unfit to govern, provoked anger in her febrile party.

Two junior ministers quit on Wednesday – one of them from the Brexit department.

Corbyn, who voted against EU membership in a 1975 referendum, has said Brexit should include a customs union with the EU and access to its Single Market as well as protection for consumer and environmental standards and workers’ rights. – Press TV.

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