Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

British parliament backs PM Theresa May's plan for June 8 snap election

British parliament backs PM Theresa May's plan for June 8 snap election

MPs have backed Theresa May's calls for a general election to be held on June 8.

After debating the motion put forward by May in the House of Commons, 522 of the 650 sitting MPs voted in favour of the June 8 election, passing the threshold of two-thirds needed to approve the plan.

Liberal Democrat leader Farron said that broadcasters should hold debates anyway, with an empty chair in May's place.

She said a general election will provide Britain with five years of strong and stable leadership to see the country through its negotiations with the European Union to make sure "we are able to make a success of the European Union referendum result".

One broadcaster, ITV, said it planned to hold a debate with or without the prime minister.

A European Commission spokesman said the "real political" negotiations on Brexit will start after the election.

But he raised the stakes for Brexit, saying any agreement on the rights of EU citizens must remain subject to rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

"Throughout the next seven weeks the NFU will ensure that all parties fully understand and engage with the food and farming community on the issues facing the sector both now and post-Brexit".

In her first campaign visit, to a Labour marginal in Bolton, the Prime Minister told an invited audience: "There's a very clear choice at this election".

Conservative Party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin then seized on the comments, insisting Mr Corbyn was sowing "chaos" which would "disrupt our Brexit negotiations".

May enjoys a runaway lead in opinion polls over the main opposition Labour Party, and the British economy has so far defied predictions of a slowdown, offering her a strong base to launch a poll some lawmakers described as "opportunistic". That would give the Conservatives 382 seats, Labour 179, the Lib Dems 10, the SNP 56, and others 23. "But this is a prime minister who promised there wouldn't be one".

In fiery exchanges in the House of Commons on Wednesday, May said an early election would strengthen her hand against domestic critics seeking to "frustrate the process" of Brexit, which formally began last month.

"The Conservatives will use all the divide-and-rule tricks of the Lynton Crosby trade to protect the wealth extractors' rigged system", the Labour leader is expected to say. She continues to oppose Brexit.

You can have Theresa May with a united party behind her fighting for every single Briton, making sure she secures the best possible deal or Jeremy Corbyn, a man who cannot even unite his own party, a man that doesn't even command the support of a simple majority of his party's MPs. It is, therefore, no surprise that today they break strongly for the Conservative Party: 61 percent back the party compared to just 12 percent who back Labour.

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.

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