Published: Thu, May 11, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

May receives Parliament's backing for snap election

May receives Parliament's backing for snap election

MPs voted overnight by a resounding 522 to 13 to back May's call for an election, easily surpassing the two-thirds majority in the 650-seat House of Commons needed to trigger an early vote.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's surprise call for a snap general election comes with the country facing a host of challenges - all closely bound up with the country's exit from the European Union.

The prime minister, who took office after David Cameron resigned following the European Union vote, is seeking a personal mandate for her plan to pull Britain out of Europe s single market.

May will hope the election will boost her slim majority in parliament and give her a new mandate to put her stamp on domestic reforms in education and health and strengthen her hand in talks with the European Union, which will start in earnest in June.

Juncker's spokesman said the election would not delay the start of negotiations, which the Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has previously said would start in early June.

Her Westminster opponents are quoting the national economy, jobs and NHS problems as reasons for voting for their own party.

The elections were otherwise scheduled to be held only in May, 2020. Polls give the Conservatives a double-digit lead over Labour, and May is gambling that an election will deliver her a personal mandate from voters and produce a bigger Conservative majority.

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Mrs May is to be congratulated on taking the bull by the horns in calling for a vote of confidence in her Brexit negotiations. "Stable government is critical during periods of momentous change and I believe a general election is the right and necessary decision from the PM to cement the progress she's made since her appointment".

Labour's embattled Corbyn, meanwhile, faces speculation that a dismal performance in the election would spell the end of his time at the helm of the fractured 117-year-old party.

The Labour Party appears to be running an anti-establishment campaign, presenting itself as a defender of the powerless against the establishment.

The Conservatives were quick to condemn the party as in "chaos" on Thursday after Corbyn dodged a question about whether Labour might back a second referendum on the final Brexit deal.

"For us to have the next years the same interlocutor, the same government, is better because we will know the strategy and the ideas of the United Kingdom, to negotiate an agreement with the same government is better for us". Although current polling suggests Conservatives would add to their majority, the election is not a given win. We want the same rights today, tomorrow for the European citizens living here, and the British citizens in Europe.

But for Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the move was a "huge political miscalculation" that could help the Scottish National Party's efforts to hold an independence vote.

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