British Prime Minister Theresa May has caused a major surprise with her decision to call a snap election with a short lead-in time of eight weeks to June 8, as she seeks to cement her government's position before Brexit negotiations really get under way.
The main opposition Labour Party welcomed May's election call, meaning that it is nearly a foregone conclusion that May will obtain the two thirds support she needs in the House of Commons for the election to be held.
May's call for an early election came after firm assurances that she would not seek a new election before 2020.
The format could be similar to European Union referendum debates in which David Cameron and Michael Gove faced questions from a live audience in separate programmes.
It will also be the Brexit election, meant to consolidate the decision taken at the referendum and ensure there is no backsliding.
But Labour MP Gisela Stuart, one of the architects of Brexit as co-chair of Vote Leave, said she would be standing down after 20 years as MP for Birmingham Edgbaston. "If the SNP wins this election in Scotland and the Tories (Conservatives) don't, then Theresa May's attempt to block our mandate to give the people of Scotland a choice over their own future when the time is right will crumble to dust", she said.
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Connelly of the Lowy Institute for International Policy said that, considering Mr. Connelly wrote on Lowy Institute's Web site last March.
"Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the prime ministers, presidents and chancellors of the European Union".
"If we're negotiating at a point that is quite close to a general election, I think the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us", she explained.
"Much of the media and establishment are saying this election is a foregone conclusion", the Labour leader will tell his audience at Church House in central London.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the election "gives the British people the chance to vote for a Labour government that will put the interests of the majority first".
Opposing the snap election were nine Labor ministers, three independents and a member of the Social Democratic and Labor Party.
It had been hoped talks could start by the end of that month, but EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Wednesday that "the real political negotiations" with Britain would not start till after the June 8 election.
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Under that law, general elections are supposed to be held on a regular five-year schedule, with the next vote due in 2020.
Theresa May has said she will not take part in televised debates in the run up to the General Election.
May, who was appointed prime minister after the country voted in favour of Brexit in June previous year, enjoys a large lead in the opinion polls, with 50 percent saying she would be the best prime minister.
May's Conservative Party holds a slim majority in Parliament's lower House of Commons and May is banking on gaining a greater share of the seats to make Brexit a smoother transition for her government.
Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's questions.
Bolton North East is a held by Labour's Sir David Crausby, who has a majority of 4,377, and is a Conservative target.
UK Parliament approves Theresa May's snap vote
May dismissed criticism of her decision to call voters back to polling booths for the third time in just over 24 months. The First Minister accused the Prime Minister of trying to "crush" opposition to her Brexit plan.