January 10, 2019 / 10:54 AM / a month ago

UK government minded to back opposition Brexit proposal on rights - source

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government is “minded” to accept a proposal from opposition members of parliament to add reassurances on workers’ rights and environmental protections to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, a government source said on Thursday.

May is trying to win over MPs in the main opposition Labour Party before a vote next week on her deal to leave the European Union which she is expected to lose.

The government source said on condition of anonymity that if the amendment to Brexit legislation was selected for a vote by the parliamentary speaker, then the government was “minded to support it”.

The amendment has been proposed by four Labour MPs, who sit in parts of Britain which voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.

It calls on the government to ensure workers’ rights and environmental protections will not be lowered after Britain leaves the EU and for parliament to be given the chance to consider whether Britain should keep up with any new EU laws in these areas.

Several of the MPs have indicated they could support the deal if their concerns on rights were met.

Labour has said it will oppose May’s Brexit deal, but with opposition from hardline Brexit campaigners strengthening in her Conservative Party, the prime minister is increasingly looking to opposition MPs for support.

She has repeatedly warned that if MPs vote against the deal on Tuesday, parliament will open the way for a potentially chaotic no-deal Brexit when Britain leaves the EU without an agreement.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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