British MPs approve snap election in Brexit shadow
British MPs approve snap election in Brexit shadow
21 Abril, 2017, 02:22
May has called for a snap June 8 General Election, seeking to strengthen her hand in ongoing European Union exit talks and tighten her grip on a fractious Conservative Party.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street, in central London, Britain April 18, 2017.
The former interior minister, who became prime minister without an election when her predecessor David Cameron quit after last year's referendum vote for Brexit, enjoys a runaway lead over the main opposition Labour Party in opinion polls.
Mrs May used her speech to praise MPs after 522 voted in the Commons for the early election, with just 13 against.
Mrs May, who became PM last July after the European Union referendum, told MPs it would wrong for the United Kingdom to find itself reaching the most "difficult and sensitive" phase of Brexit negotiations in late 2018 and early 2019 when a general election was "looming on the horizon".
A large majority for the Tories would strengthen the Government's hand in negotiating a good Brexit deal and provide "strong and stable leadership in the national interest", she said.
British voters will be heading to polling stations for the third time since 2015, after lawmakers overwhelmingly backed Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap election on June 8.
Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the poll but accused Mrs May of changing her mind and breaking promises on a range of issues.
If the election is approved Wednesday, Parliament will be dissolved on May 2, sparking nearly six weeks of campaigning. "I will be campaigning for strong and stable leadership in the national interest with me as Prime Minister and I will be asking for the public's support to continue to deliver my plan for a stronger Britain, to lead the country for the next five years and to give the certainty and stability that we need".
May's Conservatives now hold 330 House of Commons seats and Labour 229.
Corbyn said years of Conservative austerity had led to falling living standards and called May "a prime minister who can't be trusted".
"This requires the electorate in every constituency to know where the candidates stand; and the mobilization of the thousands in each constituency to make it clear that for them this issue counts when it comes to their vote", he added.
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Rejecting the PM's claim that an election is needed to prevent disunity at Westminster undermining a Brexit deal, Mr Corbyn said: "There is no obstacle to the Government negotiating, but, instead of getting on with the job, she is painting herself as the prisoner of the Liberal Democrats".
A European Commission spokesman said the "real political" negotiations on Brexit will start after the election.
May ruled out participating in televised debates with other leaders.
"I believe in campaigns where politicians actually get out and about and meet the voters", she said.
If @Theresa_May is so proud of her record, why is she dodging head-to-head TV debates with me?
Senior Liberal Democrats have already "confirmed" to The Telegraph that Blair "could" strike an alliance with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and lead a joint campaign against Brexit at the general election.
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How bad could it be? If the polls are correct, the election would see the Tories winning 375 seats with a 100-seat majority . While Labour may be demoralized and divided under Corbyn's leadership, it doesn't look like he is going anywhere fast.
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