Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn is making a play to take greater control of the Brexit debate.
British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has moved a step closer to paving the way for another Brexit referendum by trying to use parliament to grab control of the issue from Prime Minister Theresa May.
With the clock ticking down to March 29, the date set in law for Brexit, the United Kingdom is in the deepest political crisis in half a century as it grapples with how, or even whether, to exit the European project it joined in 1973.
After May's Brexit deal was rejected by lawmakers last week, the biggest defeat in modern British history, Labour put forward an amendment seeking to force the government to give parliament time to consider and vote on options to prevent a 'no deal' exit - a course May has repeatedly refused to rule out.
Among the options, Labour said, should be a permanent customs union with the EU and "a public vote on a deal" - both proposals that May has ruled out.
"It is time for Labour's alternative plan to take centre stage, while keeping all options on the table, including the option of a public vote," Corbyn said.
"Our amendment will allow MPs to vote on options to end this Brexit deadlock and prevent the chaos of a no deal."
However, Labour's business spokeswoman Rebecca Long-Bailey said the amendment did not mean that the party supported a second vote and merely reflected its existing policy.
"If it was passed, the amendment, and it went to a vote on these specific issues then that would be a decision for the party to take at the time," she told the BBC.
Lawmakers will debate and vote on the next steps on January 29.
In the meantime, Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay says Britain is still working on what to ask from the European Union to allay concerns over the backup plan that aims to prevent a hard Irish border.
"The EU don't want to be in a situation of having no deal - that would have a big impact not just on the Irish economy but other economies ... so it's in both sides' interest to have a deal."
It comes as a senior German politician says she is disappointed in May's backup plan and suggests Britain hold a second referendum.
Justice Minister Katarina Barley, who has American and British citizenship, said May missed an opportunity to drum up support for the Brexit deal agreed with the EU.
"Yes, I'm disappointed ... that's not the way forward," Barley told local radio.