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Britain's Theresa May announces shock elections on June 8th

21 April 2017

May is seeking a general election in order to give her a direct mandate to take the United Kingdom through the Brexit divorce with the European Union.

Britain's next national election is now scheduled for 2020, a year after the scheduled completion of two years of European Union exit talks.

May told the Commons an election was necessary to ensure "stability and certainty" for the country. 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.

May became prime minister without winning an election in July a year ago following the resignation of David Cameron after millions of Britons went against his advice and voted to leave the EU.

"If you look at the timetable, had the election been in 2020 we would have been coming up to the most crucial part of the negotiations, at the end of the negotiations, in what would be starting to be the run-up to a general election".

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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.

Corbyn responded by mocking May over the government's failure to eliminate the deficit - "It's always five years in the future" - and criticising her over school budgets and the NHS, which he said had been "put into an all-year-round crisis by this government".

An enhanced Parliamentary majority would also make it harder, she said, for those trying to frustrate her Brexit strategy. During prime minister's questions, just before the election debate, former chancellor George Osborne announced that he was leaving parliament "for now". The survey showed the Tories on 44% with Labour trailing on just 23%. It is Labour's worst position in a YouGov poll since 2009.

Germany's foreign minister has said he hopes that the election will lead to more clarity and predictability in the Brexit negotiations.

Theresa May said that Jeremy Corbyn was not fit to lead, but faced criticism over her refusal to take part in TV debates.

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In contrast, nearly all the MPs in May's Conservatives party (325 out of 330) voted for the early election.

But as she spoke Mr Corbyn explicitly ruled out any post-election coalition with the SNP, insisting that he would not do a deal with Nicola Sturgeon's party to forge a so-called "progressive alliance", as hers was not a progressive party.

May required the support of two-thirds of the Commons to pass the motion, and achieved it comfortably with the backing of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs.

He said May simply sensed the chance to secure a majority of 100 MPs or more.

"She expects a coronation and not a contest". That is why the Lib Dem relish the challenge of a general election.

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Montgomeryshire MP, Glyn Davies, said the Prime Minister had been left with "little choice" due to frustration over Brexit.

Britain's Theresa May announces shock elections on June 8th