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PM trying to 'blackmail' MPs on Brexit

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell has defended Jeremy Corbyn for refusing talks with UK Prime Minister Theresa May about Brexit despite senior union leaders attending a meeting with the prime minister in Downing Street today.

He told BBC Hardtalk's Stephen Sackur that Mrs May was "using the threat of no deal to try and blackmail Parliament into supporting her deal".

Mr McDonnell also said it was "highly likely" Labour will support an amendment next week to delay the UK's departure date from the EU.

The Brexit deal negotiated by the government with the EU was defeated in the Commons by 230 votes last week.

Mrs May has previously said the "right way" to ensure Brexit, and rule out no-deal, was to approve her withdrawal agreement.

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