Sunday, 17 December, 2017

German EU lawmaker hopes for compromise with UK

Melinda Barton | 20 April, 2017, 06:41

"Core voters in the north who voted for Brexit are not convinced, and metropolitan liberal voters aren't convinced by that either", political expert and author Eliza Filby told AFP.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has welcomed Theresa May's decision to call a snap election, saying his party would offer an "effective alternative" to the Tories.

Mrs May said all Labour had to offer the country was "bankruptcy and chaos" while a Conservative victory would strengthen her hand in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

"I believe in campaigns where politicians actually get out and about and meet the voters", he said.

Now, the prime minister needs the backing of two-thirds of lawmakers and May said she would put her election call to the House of Commons on Wednesday.

While opposition parties have criticised the u-turn, both Labour and Liberal Democrats are expected to vote in favour of the election, giving easily enough support to pass the motion.

It would be modelled after the Youth Mobility Scheme, which now allows 18- to 30-year-olds from non-EU countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand to work in the United Kingdom for up to two years.

"A big factor for them is whether the election will make a softer stance on the Brexit negotiations more likely", he said.

Subject to the two-thirds parliamentary approval necessary under the Fixed-Term Parliament Act, a general election will now be held on 8 June.

Joe Cooke, from Castle Point Labour group, added: "This election gives us the chance to stop this downward spiral in our quality of life".

Many of Labour's traditional working-class supporters voted to leave the EU, particularly in areas that have seen an influx of eastern European immigrants in recent years.

"What kind of Brexit we should have and whether Scotland and Northern Ireland should leave the United Kingdom are the topics about which politicians are obsessed". If May were to gain more seats, she would be able to have more freedom to pursue her own agenda, and to neutralize those inside and outside her own party who disagree with her positions.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the election call as "a huge political miscalculation by the Prime Minister" which would allow the SNP to reinforce its democratic mandate to stage a second referendum on independence.

But Mr Corbyn told MPs Mrs May could not be trusted, after u-turning on her promise not to call an early election and accused her of running scared of TV debates during the campaign.

If the election is approved Wednesday, Parliament will be dissolved on May 2, sparking nearly six weeks of campaigning.

"What the British people - what the people of the United Kingdom - voted for past year was for the UK to leave the European Union".

Initially, EU officials had said that the talks could start in late May once a detailed negotiating mandate had been agreed among the EU's 27 other members.