Britain's parliament has dealt Prime Minister Theresa May's government a narrow defeat by passing an amendment that puts roadblocks in the path of a "no-deal" Brexit.

Legislators on Tuesday backed an amendment to the Finance Bill that would prohibit the government from spending on preparations to leave the European Union without a deal unless authorised by parliament.

The 303 to 296 defeat highlights May's weak position just days before she is due to hold a pivotal vote on whether to approve the Brexit deal she has negotiated with the EU.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, described the result as an "important step" towards preventing a no-deal Brexit.

Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee reports from London.

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