Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

UK prime minister defends decision to seek snap election

Melinda Barton | 20 April, 2017, 06:12

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 today. There were also a number of abstentions.

With May seen winning a new five-year mandate and boosting her majority in parliament by perhaps 100 seats, the pound held close to six-and-a-half month highs on hopes she may be able to clinch a smoother, more phased departure from the European Union and minimise damage to the United Kingdom economy.

"This election can change the direction of our country, from the consequences of a potential hard Brexit outside the single market to the future of our NHS and social care, our schools and our environment", said Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron. Osborne, who has five other jobs as well as a large family fortune, gave the scoop to the Evening Standard, where he is the new editor, although he missed the deadline for the print edition.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has formally asked lawmakers to back her call for an early election.

May says politicians should "put our fate in the hands of the people and then let the people decide". On Wednesday, 522 MPs voted in favour of the motion. Leaders of European Union states are due to adopt negotiating guidelines at an April 29 summit, and the bloc will prepare detailed plans for the talks with Britain by late May.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's spokesman said there would be no delay to negotiations, which the Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has previously said would start in early June.

She said that waiting until 2020 would mean the "most sensitive" part of the two-year Brexit negotiations would come during the run-up to an election.

The broad contours of the electoral debate likely to unfold in coming months began to emerge during Prime Minister's Questions and the debate held just ahead of the vote, as leaders and significant figures across the political spectrum sought to clarify their views. Demmer said Wednesday: "The German government assumes that the negotiations can be continued without disruption".

Parliament is expected to be dissolved on May 3, as British law mandates the dissolution must happen 25 working days before a general election.

"That would be in nobody's interest", May said. He added: "If it isn't a triumphant success, it will be to some extent a personal failure". The opinion polls suggest May's snap election will do exactly that.

During a special debate in theHouse of Commons, she said it was the "right and responsible" thing to do hold the election now to provide "five years of stability and certainty" and help the United Kingdom prepare for life outside the EU.

May said that opponents were intent on "frustrating the Brexit process", even after Parliament authorized talks with the EU.

Standing outside her Downing Street office, May said she had been reluctant about asking parliament to back her move to bring forward the poll from 2020. but decided it was necessary to try to stop the opposition "jeopardising" her work on Brexit.

The leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, pressed May in Parliament Wednesday to take part in a televised debate ahead of the election, but May maintained she had no interest in doing so. An early ballot will give the next leader more time to implement Brexit before another election. On Tuesday May announced plans for a snap general election on June 8.