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Europhiles see chance of revival in Brexit election

21 April 2017

The Conservative Party has recorded its highest level of support since early 2008, according to a poll conducted after Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap general election on June 8.

May surprised allies and opponents on Tuesday when she announced her plan to bring forward an election that was not due until 2020, saying she needed to avoid a clash of priorities in the sensitive final stages of the two-year Brexit talks.

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson called on the Prime Minister to condemn newspaper headlines suggesting the election was an opportunity to "crush the saboteurs" of Brexit.

May said the snap election was aimed at overcoming divisions in parliament, succeeding in Brexit negotiations with the European Union, and ensuring stability in the country.

In a scenario of a large Conservative majority, the chance of no Brexit trade deal at all - falling off the trade cliff edge - would decline in our view and the chance of a transition period increase. Mr Corbyn accused the government of "broken promises" on health, education and the economy during its seven years in office.

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The victory "shows the power of a clear pro-European message in seats that voted Remain", Sylvester said.

However, the unexpected elections might delay the beginning of the talks, which European Union officials said could begin as early as May.

"What do we know that the leader of the Labour Party, the leader of the Liberal Democrats and the leader of the Scottish nationalists have in common?" she asked parliament.

May could be forced to soften her vision of a "hard Brexit" stand if European Union backers do well in the election.

The prime minister formally ruled out taking part in televised head to head debates before the June 8 election in a BBC interview yesterday.

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Labour's top ranks convened an emergency meeting after Mrs May's announcement on Tuesday, where Mr Corbyn told MPs he did not underestimate the task ahead, but "let's get out there".

The Conservative lead over Labour has stretched to 24 points in a new opinion poll carried out since the snap general election was called.

Mary Creagh, who contended the Labour leadership race which led to Jeremy Corbyn being elected, is also vulnerable, with a 2,613 majority in her Brexit-leaning Wakefield constituency. "I am stepping down from the House of Commons - for now", he wrote in a letter to his constituents.

"But of course those people don't want us to win".

May, Britain's former interior minister, became prime minister without an election when her predecessor David Cameron quit after last June's referendum vote for Brexit. May has been insisting until days ago that she had no intention of calling an early election.

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If the ruling Conservative party obtains a big majority in the general election in June this year, it will make it more likely for Britain to seal a trade transitional deal - a leeway period or phased process of implementation of Brexit agreements for the United Kingdom with the European Union.

Europhiles see chance of revival in Brexit election