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Former UK finance minister, Labour to work out ways to block no-deal Brexit: Report

File photo of Philip Hammond. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 28, 2019, 09.18 AM (IST)

Former British finance minister Philip Hammond, who quit the government as finance minister last week before Boris Johnson became UK's prime minister, has reportedly held secret talks with the opposition Labour Party to work out a strategy to stop a no-deal Brexit, news agency Reuters reported quoting a newspaper report.

Hammond, who has long opposed leaving the European Union without a transition deal, met Labour's top Brexit official, Kier Starmer, shortly after he quit the government, the report said quoting UK's Observer.

The newspaper said Hammond and Starmer agreed to work with other senior lawmakers including former Conservative minister Oliver Letwin to discuss how best use parliamentary votes to stop a no-deal outcome, the report said.

"The political direction of travel under Boris Johnson is clear," Starmer told the newspaper. "And so it is more important than ever that we build a strong cross-party alliance to stop a no-deal Brexit."

Johnson has said he wants to strike a new Brexit deal with the EU but is prepared to take Britain out of the bloc without one on Oct. 31, if necessary.

He has also said he would not take off the table the possibility of suspending parliament if lawmakers threatened to block a no-deal Brexit.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Story highlights

Hammond, who has long opposed leaving the European Union without a transition deal to soften the economic shock, met Labour's top Brexit official, Kier Starmer, shortly after he quit the government.