Labour to make new bid to prevent a no-deal Brexit

PUBLISHED: 16:07 02 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:07 02 January 2020

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking in the House of Commons, London. Picture: House of Commons PA Wire

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking in the House of Commons, London. Picture: House of Commons PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

The Labour party is making a fresh attempt to make sure the UK does not crash out without a deal with the EU at the end of 2020.

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The opposition will push for a new clause to Brexit legislation, requesting a two-year extension to the implementation period if certain conditions are not met by mid-June.

The extension would be avoided if an agreement on the future trade relationship has been concluded, or if the Commons has passed a motion approving that the will not apply for an extension, with the House of Lords also considering the matter.

An explanatory note says: "This new clause would restore the role for parliament in deciding whether to extend transition to avoid a WTO (World Trade Organisation) Brexit."

Boris Johnson has insisted he believes a trade deal with the EU can be agreed before the 11-month transition period expires.

But critics on both sides of the channel have said that the timetable is too tight and could lead to Brexit without a UK-EU trade deal in place.

Labour's amendment, tabled in Jeremy Corbyn's name, states: "A minister of the Crown must seek to secure agreement in the joint committee to a single decision to extend the implementation period by two years, in accordance with Article 132 of the Withdrawal Agreement unless one or more condition in subsection (2) is met.

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"Those conditions are: (a) it is before 15 June 2020; (b) an agreement on the future trade relationship has been concluded; (c) the House of Commons has passed a motion in the form set out in subsection (3) and the House of Lords has considered a motion to take note of the government's intention not to request an extension."

It also adds that an shorter extension to the implementation period would be possible if EU negotiators will agree to it.

It would also enable the UK to end any extended transition period early.

It has been tabled to the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill along with a series of other proposals from opposition parties.

But they are all unlikely to make progress given Johnson's 80-seat majority.

MORE: Boris Johnson's Brexit plans passes at second reading despite 'binned' compromises

This has already allowed his Brexit bill to easily pass its second reading by 358 votes to 234 - a majority of 124.

Other amendments tabled by Labour include a bid to protect the right for unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with their family after Brexit.

WATCH: 'Shame on this government': Corbyn attacks u-turn on protections for refugee children

The revised wording of the bill removed a government commitment to strike a deal with the European Union so child refugees can be reunited with their family in the UK, even after free movement ends.

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