Published: Thu, May 04, 2017
Health | By Kristina Bennett

Theresa May accused of 'opportunism' over election by EU Brexit negotiator

Theresa May accused of 'opportunism' over election by EU Brexit negotiator

Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Tuesday that a snap general election would be held on June 8, despite having repeatedly said that the country would not be going back to the polling stations.

May's call comes despite a law passed in 2011 under Cameron's coalition government aimed at keeping elections five years apart to prevent precisely this kind of uncertainty. A two-thirds majority of MPs must agree to a move that will shorten the lifespan of a parliament.

And, with his party trailing the Conservatives in the polls by more than 20 points, he said that the election was not a "foregone conclusion".

Also yesterday, it emerged Mrs May is likely to take part in a question and answer session in front of a television audience before the general election after she was heavily criticised by her opponents for refusing to debate with them.

May has already won approval from Queen Elizabeth for the snap election.

"Even though May looks set to secure a strong mandate from United Kingdom voters, the priority of European Union negotiators heading into the Brexit talks remains the protection of the European Union", said Jane Foley, senior foreign exchange strategist at Rabobank.

Mr Tajani, whose organisation has a veto on the final Brexit withdrawal deal, said the meeting went well.

The Conservatives have had a commanding lead over Labour for months, but a new YouGov poll for The Times on Thursday put them on 48 percent, double Labour's showing of 24 percent. PM May is now an unelected leader, appointed to the role in an internal, Conservative party leadership contest following the post-Brexit resignation of her predecessor David Cameron.

Additionally, 44% of bets placed in the "to win most seats" market favoured the Labour party.

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May has framed the election, in which her ruling Conservative party could win as many as 100 extra seats, as a way of securing the best possible Brexit deal for the UK.

The Prime Minister gave a speech in a parish hall in Walmsley, a village in the Labour seat of Bolton North East, just three hours after MPs voted to clear the way for the 8 June poll.

"This means there will be an opportunity for United Kingdom citizens to express themselves on how they see the future relationship between their country and the European Union", said Verhofstadt.

"The country is coming together, but Westminster is not".

"She told the House of Commons: "[Jeremy] Corbyn, [Tim] Farron and [Nicola] Sturgeon want to unite together to divide our country, and we will not let them do it".

Ms Goodman has confirmed she is running for re-election on June 8 but could find herself targeted by the Tories.

There has been widespread public support for Monday's decision, while political experts have given mixed responses.

"Indeed, it appears this election is being driven by the political opportunism of the party in government, rather than by the people they represent".

Including the pledges in the manifesto would make it extremely hard for Remain-backing Tory MPs to rebel on the issues in House of Commons votes if the party wins the snap election on June 8 and as exit talks go on.

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