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British opposition party to try to stop Brexit talks

Associated Press Associated Press 11/11/2016
FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 8, 2016 file photo, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron attends the US Embassy's election night party in central London. A British opposition party says it will vote against starting exit talks with the European Union unless the government promises a new referendum before leaving the bloc. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 that his party would vote against starting exit negotiations unless voters got to "have their say in a referendum on the terms of the deal" between Britain and the EU. (Yui Mok/PA via AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 8, 2016 file photo, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron attends the US Embassy's election night party in central London. A British opposition party says it will vote against starting exit talks with the European Union unless the government promises a new referendum before leaving the bloc. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 that his party would vote against starting exit negotiations unless voters got to "have their say in a referendum on the terms of the deal" between Britain and the EU. (Yui Mok/PA via AP, File)

LONDON — A British opposition party said Friday it would vote against starting exit talks with the European Union unless the government promises a new referendum before leaving the 28-nation bloc.

British Prime Minister Theresa May wants to start divorce talks by March 31, but the High Court ruled that Parliament must get a vote on it first. The government is appealing the judgment to the Supreme Court, with hearings due next month.

In the meantime, some pro-EU lawmakers are trying to build support for a blocking move.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said his party would vote against invoking Article 50 of the EU treaty, the trigger for exit talks, unless voters got to "have their say in a referendum on the terms of the deal" between Britain and the EU.

Farron said that voters decided in June to leave the EU, but not on what form of relationship Britain should seek with the bloc.

He said there must be "a referendum at the end of this process so that nobody would have imposed upon them something they didn't vote for."

The Liberal Democrats have just eight seats in the 650-seat House of Commons, but some members of the main opposition Labour Party also say they will vote to block Brexit.

The government says it will not hold a second referendum. Brexit Minister David Jones accused opposition lawmakers of "attempting to thwart and reverse the decision that was taken on June 23."

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