United Kingdom parliament votes in favour of early election

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 21, 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May's surprise call for June elections approved 522 to 13 by British members of parliament.

But for those who say the Mail was wrong to call the Government's Brexit critics "saboteurs", the paper has a message: 'how else to describe a Labour Party which has threatened to vote against a final agreement with the EU?' Or what else should we call the Lib Dems who 'say they want to grind government to a standstill?'.

The next general election had been expected in 2020, but the Fixed Term Parliaments Act allows for one to be held earlier if it has the support of two-thirds of MPs.

"The president considers that the real political negotiations on Article 50 with the United Kingdom will start after the elections foreseen for the 8th of June", a spokesperson for the European Commission told theIndependent.

May also told the BBC that her political opponents were intent on "frustrating the Brexit process" " even after Parliament authorized divorce talks with the EU.

Nine Labour MPs opposed the snap election as did three independents and the SDLP's Alasdair McDonnell.

Jeremy Corbyn will on Thursday launch the Labour party's general election campaign with a populist appeal to voters to overthrow a "rigged system" run by a "cosy cartel" of the rich and the powerful.

A spokesman for May said Wednesday that the government is looking to dissolve parliament on 3 May which will be 25 working days before the snap general election.

Sources close to the Labour leader have claimed he will deliver "the biggest people-driven campaign Britain has ever seen".

The Liberal Democrats attacked the Prime Minister's decision to rule out taking part in televised debates ahead of the election.

Brexit might be the word on everyone's lips during these elections, but the next five years should be about more than just walking away from the European Union, says the Times.

May's justification for calling an early election - that the current parliamentary opposition could block Brexit - is nonsense. "I want this country to be able to play the strongest hand possible in those negotiations and be in a position to get the best possible deal".

May became prime minister without winning an election in July past year following the resignation of David Cameron after millions of Britons went against his advice and voted to leave the EU. This narrative would certainly explain why financial markets have bid up the pound since the snap-election announcement.

Analysts from other major banks and investment houses for the moment seem to largely discount other potential post-election scenarios, like a surge for the pro-EU Liberal Democrats that could derail May's plans.

"The election gives the British people the chance to change direction".

But the Prime Minister has been very clear: this election will not hinder the Brexit negotiation process. A choice of stability and a clear vision for Brexit provided by Theresa May and the Conservative Party, or the other choice, a Labour Party lead by Jeremy Corbyn with no clear vision on Brexit and a party that can not unite behind him.

"That would be in nobody's interest", May said.

"The prime minister's attempt to dodge scrutiny shows how she holds the public in contempt", he said.

The latest opinion polls from ICM, YouGov and ComRes gave the Conservatives a 21-point lead over Labour, suggesting May could secure a majority of around 100 seats in the House of Commons.

The election is the fourth major vote in four years, after last June's European Union referendum, the 2015 general election, and the 2014 Scottish independence vote.

May, previously the interior minister, took over as prime minister for David Cameron, who resigned a year ago after voters said Yes to Brexit. With this outcome being extremely unlikely, the most one can hope for is that the election will soften the blow from Brexit.

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