UK's opposition will back 'sensible' Brexit deal

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Britain's main opposition Labour Party will attempt to bridge its Brexit divisions during a tumultuous debate at its annual conference on Tuesday, which could ultimately decide the fate of the government's plans to leave the EU.

Prime minister May also told reporters in NY on Tuesday that an election before Britain leaves the European Union would "not be in the national interest".

Negotiations on future relations between the United Kingdom and the bloc have faltered, largely due to divisions within May's Conservative government over how close an economic relationship to seek with EU.

European officials and many EU member state leaders also oppose parts of May's "Chequers" blueprint, but worry Britain could crash out of the bloc if an eventual deal is refused by British MPs.

- "Remain on the table" - Pro-EU activists were dealt another blow when shadow finance minister John McDonnell - Corbyn's right-hand man - on Tuesday said any second vote should not include the choice of whether or not to stay in the EU.

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The Labour leader said his party would call for a general election if Parliament votes down a deal reached by the Prime Minister and Brussels, and told delegates in Liverpool that "all options are on the table" if that fails.

Mr Corbyn backed his Brexit spokesman, saying: "Those are the words of the motion that was supported by the National Executive and the shadow cabinet and that is what is being voted on in conference".

Labour is the main opposition party to the UK's Conservative government, which now excludes most onshore projects from contract-for-difference auctions, the country's main support mechanism.

In his keynote speech, Corbyn told delegates that if the Prime Minister refused his offer and lost the vote in the Commons, then she would be forced to stand down and go to the country.

But, some Labour members say, Brexit is a sideshow for Corbyn, and he would much prefer to concentrate on Labour's manifesto, detailing how, if in government, the party would spend its 250 billion pound National Transformation Fund to reboot the economy.

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He warned that as time runs out to get a Brexit deal, "companies are losing patience" and planning to relocate overseas.

"We, the Labour Party, are going to vote down a bad deal or we're going to vote down no deal because that is not good for our country nor is it what people voted for".

But with Britain due to leave European Union in six months, on March 29, and negotiations at an impasse, Corbyn is under intense pressure from party members to support a new public vote. An EU summit next month is seen as a make-or-break moment for a Brexit deal.

"If Theresa May brings back a deal that does not meet our tests - and that looks increasingly likely - Labour will vote against her deal", he told Labour members at the party's conference in the northern city of Liverpool.

He said: "That is our party policy and has been for over a year". However, many commentators believe one could come earlier due to the political turmoil sparked by the Brexit process.

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Starmer has said a referendum to reverse Brexit must be an "option", but Corbyn's position is less clear.

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