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Anti-Brexit alliance targets tenth of UK election seats

AFP  |  London 

Three small parties opposed to Britain's looming EU exit revealed plans Thursday to work together to deliver anti-Brexit candidates in next month's election.

The Liberal Democrats, the Greens and Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru will stand aside for each other in 60 of the 650 seats contested on December 12.

"This arrangement will help elect more pro-Remain MPs in the next parliament," said Jo Swinson, leader of the Lib Dems, who have pledged to reverse Brexit.

Britons voted by 52 percent to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum, but MPs have been divided over how, when and even if that result should be delivered. The political wrangling has forced two successive Conservative governments to ask the EU to delay Brexit three times this year. It is now set for January 31.

Current Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes the snap election next month will give him a majority in the House of Commons to allow him to ratify his exit terms and finally leave the EU.

But anti-Brexit parties see it as an opportunity to reverse the result altogether. The 'Remain' coalition was trialled in a Welsh by-election earlier this year, when the Greens and Plaid stood aside for the Lib Dems, who went on to take the seat from Johnson's Conservatives.

For next month's polls, the Lib Dems will stand in 43 seats, the Greens in 10 and Plaid in seven.

Peter Dunphy, a strategist with the group organising the pact, Unite to Remain, said at least 44 of the seats were "highly winnable".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 07 2019. 20:40 IST