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UK Labor: We Won't Automatically Support Cameron on EU

The new leader of Britain's opposition Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, waves as he acknowledges applause before addressing the Trade Union Congress in Brighton, England, Sept. 15, 2015.

Britain's opposition Labor Party does not plan to support Prime Minister David Cameron automatically by giving him a "free hand" on whether Britain remains in the European Union, its newly appointed finance spokesman, John McDonnell, said on Tuesday.

Cameron has begun renegotiating the terms of Britain's EU membership and plans to put the issue to the country in a referendum by the end of 2017.

"[Labor leader] Jeremy [Corbyn] said quite clearly he wants to remain in Europe but we want to see what Cameron's package is," McDonnell told BBC television. "We're not going to give Cameron a free hand on any negotiations at all — we want to see what he comes up with."

The hard-left Corbyn said Monday that Labor should not automatically support any deal negotiated by Cameron for Britain to remain in the European Union.

Though Labor is in opposition, its stance on EU membership will be an important factor in a vote that could affect trade, investment and influence Britain's role in the world.

Corbyn has highlighted protecting workers' rights as an area where he says more needs to be done in the EU negotiations.

"At the moment, it's trying to get a good Europe that serves all our interests, and I think we can do that," said McDonnell.