British Parliament approves snap election

Posted April 20, 2017

British lawmakers have, as expected, voted in favour of the snap election proposed yesterday by Prime Minister Theresa May, setting the date for June 8.

Opinion polls put the Conservatives - who now hold 330 of parliament's 650 seats - way ahead of Labour, who have 229.

"We believe in the short term, pound will continue to rise against the greenback and other currencies, including the ringgit, as much of the sentiment-driven depreciation after last year's historic referendum of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union made the pound look undervalued fundamentally", the brokerage explained in a note to its clients.

"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.

Let us put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programs for government and then let the people decide", May said.

Labour are now lagging well behind Theresa May's Conservatives as campaigning ahead of the snap June 8 vote gets underway.

They also say that a big victory for May will dilute the influence of those lawmakers pushing for a "hard Brexit" as well as strengthening May's overall negotiating stance.

As Home Secretary she was responsible for a tightening of immigration rules, and her tenure as Prime Minister has seen her put immigration control - from both within and outside the European Union - at the heart of her agenda, despite warnings that it could damage efforts to secure trade deals, including one with India. "The election gives the British people the chance to change direction". Lib Dems may gain 25 seats to 34 while UKIP is expected to get 1 seat and the SNP is forecast to lose four seats to 50.

But Mr Corbyn dismissed her argument that she needs a fresh mandate to deliver Brexit, and said it was "extremely interesting" that she had chosen to call an election as the Crown Prosecution Service prepares to decide whether to press charges against a string of Tory MPs over allegations relating to 2015 general election expenses.

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It had been hoped talks could start by the end of that month, but EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Wednesday that "the real political negotiations" with Britain would not start till after the June 8 election.

May told The Sun newspaper that if Britain were still negotiating with the bloc in the run-up to a national election, "the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us".

"The Prime Minister has questioned how she can get the best for Britain and I believe she has made the right decision by calling an election".

If the election goes ahead, parliament would be dissolved on May 3 and the campaign would begin in earnest, just days after European Union leaders hold a special summit to agree a negotiating strategy for Brexit on April 29.

But as she spoke Mr Corbyn explicitly ruled out any post-election coalition with the SNP, insisting that he would not do a deal with Nicola Sturgeon's party to forge a so-called "progressive alliance", as hers was not a progressive party.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has accused Mrs May of "bottling" and said broadcasters had a "moral duty" to go ahead with the showdowns even if she fails to take part. In 2010, the first British TV debates between the party leaders helped energise the electorate, pushed voter turnout up and brought the public to the centre of the arguments, as they never had before.

May told the BBC that she preferred to "go out and knock on doors" for the campaign.

The prime minister said she would look at the financial problems faced by small rural schools.

Mr Corbyn retorted: "We welcome the general election but this is a Prime Minister who promised there wouldn't be one, a Prime Minister who can not be trusted".