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UK's May wins MPs' backing snap poll

21 April 2017

It's likely in the 20 bills coming up that about three quarters will be Brexit-related, so you can understand she wants to have a mandate and a larger majority.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "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".

Praising MPs for backing her during a stump speech in the north-west of England, the PM said: "It's great to be here in Bolton, fresh from the House of Commons, fresh from winning a vote in the House of Commons, which has approved my decision to hold a general election on June 8".

Opening the debate on the motion to authorise the snap poll, Mrs May said it was time "put our fate in the hands of the people and let the people decide".

The SNP success in 2015 was after the 2014 referendum, when the party said it was not seeking another referendum but merely holding Westminster's "feet to the fire".

Britain's next national election had not been due until for 2020, a year after the scheduled completion of two years of European Union exit talks.

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May said that the pledge to spend 0.7 percent of national income on foreign aid would remain, following speculation that it would be scrapped in the Conservatives' election manifesto amid opposition from some lawmakers and newspapers who said it should be spent at home instead.

Nearly exactly 20 years since Tony Blair led Labour to the first of three consecutive election victories, the party is languishing in the polls ahead of the June 8 vote.

May is betting that the weakness of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the unexpected resilience of the United Kingdom's $2.6 trillion economy since last year's Brexit vote will bolster her majority in the British parliament.

Nearly a quarter of brokers (21%) also expected Jeremy Corbyn to face another Labour leadership challenge.

Tania Mathias, who took the Twickenham seat in south-west London from Vince Cable in 2015, said she hoped her record on helping to shape Brexit as a pro-remain Conservative MP would help see off a renewed challenge from the Lib Dem former minister, who has said he will contest the seat again.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said that, for May, calling the election is "the political equivalent of taking candy from a baby".

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Tusk said on Twitter that he had a "good" telephone conversation with May after she called for the election. This is fighting talk from a Leader with nine seats in Parliament. "There can be no turning back". A national election in May 2015 was followed by the June 2016 referendum on European Union membership.

Barnier has said he expects full negotiations to start in early June, although it remains unclear what the British position on that will be given the electoral timetable.

The Conservative Party may well claim, with some justification, that "we're all Brexiteers now", in the sense that they accept the verdict of June 23 and will honour it; but there are enormous differences between those who want to "crash out" with no deal and trade on WTO terms only, and those who want as close a match to our existing arrangements.

She rightly says the country needs a positive response for the Brexit negotiations, repeating that the decision to leave Europe is irreversible. By announcing a snap poll for June 8, Theresa May will, among other things, get over that handicap if she wins, as is widely expected.

Televised debates give the opposition a chance to score points against the establishment - as Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg successfully did during the 2010 debates.

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