Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

UK prime minister defends decision to seek snap election

UK prime minister defends decision to seek snap election

MPs debated the motion for just 90 minutes before voting for or against the June 8 General Election.

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

Preben Aamann, spokesman for Donald Tusk, president of the European Council of member states, said Brussels did not expect the timeline for the Brexit negotiations to be affected by an early general election.

Somewhat unkindly, some papers are saying May called the election because she feared the controversial Corbyn was about to resign and she would face a stronger Opposition leader.

British lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly backed Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap election, paving the way for a June vote she hopes will give her a "mandate to complete Brexit".

She said: "At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity in Westminster, but instead there is division".

May, who has described herself as "not a showy politician", said she would rather talk directly to voters.

The election will be held on June 8, almost a year after 52 percent of Britons voted to leave the bloc.

The result paves the way for an intense seven-week campaign in which the U.K.'s fraught relationship with the European Union will undergo scrutiny less than a year since the country voted in a referendum to leave the bloc. Attempts by opposition parties to delay and frustrate the process of withdrawing from the European Union had convinced her it was necessary to seek a new, stronger mandate, May said, and that it should be done before the negotiations with Brussels started.

Defending the measure, Mrs May told MPs there was a "window of opportunity" to hold a poll before Brexit negotiations began in earnest in June and that the country needed "strong leadership" to make a success of the process.

But her decision also opens the door to more uncertainty in the region, as it now puts Europe's three most powerful nations - Britain, Germany and France - into full-throttle election mode.

The prime minister did give some hints about how long she expected a Brexit deal to take.

SNP MPs abstained on the vote.

"But I will remain active in the debate about our country's future and on the issues I care about", he said.

"I want this country to be able to play the strongest hand possible in those negotiations to get the best possible deal because that's in our long-term interests".

Political pundits in Britain are also attributing the move as a direct attack on a weakened Opposition, the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

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.

As you can see by her reaction, it's clear that the Prime Minister didn't take too kindly to this statement being made.

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