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MPs clear way for general election on June 8

21 April 2017, 02:23 | Taylor George

MPs were also excited by the news that ITV will go ahead with a leaders' debate, despite May's confirmation on Wednesday that she will not take part in any.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street, in central London, Britain April 18, 2017. "The British people voted past year to leave the European Union".

"It's about providing the strong and stable leadership this country needs to take Britain through Brexit and beyond, it's about strengthening our hand in the negotiations that lie ahead, and it's about sticking to our plan for a stronger Britain that will enable us to secure that more stable and secure future for this country and take the right long-term decisions for the future".

The region's MPs unanimously backed the Prime Minister in her successful bid to force an early general election.

Telling MPs it was time to "put our fate in the hands of the people and let the people decide", Mrs May told the House of Commons: "We are determined to bring stability to the United Kingdom for the long term and that's what this election will be about - leadership and stability".

He said Mrs May's U-turn on her previous insistence that she would not call a snap election showed she could not be trusted. 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.

Although Parliament will not be officially dissolved until early May, campaigning is already under way - with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron addressing a rally of activists in south-west London earlier on Wednesday.

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And he told MPs: "We welcome the opportunity of a general election because it gives the British people the chance to vote for a Labour government that will put the interests of the majority first". Former Conservative finance minister George Osborne, a powerful voice in favour of Britain's European Union membership during the referendum campaign, also said he would not seek re-election. "I will be fighting for them in the seat of a great British newspaper", he said.

Blaming the Tory dominance on Labour's performance under Jeremy Corbyn, he said the Tories were set to win an even bigger majority "when we desperately need representatives who will at least keep an open mind". "It's about ... getting the right deal from Europe", May said.

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.

May, who took office in July after an internal Conservative Party leadership race, wants the election to increase her majority in Parliament and consolidate her power as she faces both pro-EU opposition politicians and hard-core Brexit-backers inside her own party.

"It is unsustainable in the multimedia age of the 21st century to go to the country but not debate with the leaders of the other parties".

One broadcaster, ITV, said it planned to hold a debate with or without the prime minister.

Prime Minister Theresa May is taking Britain towards a "hard Brexit" - shorthand for Britain leaving the European Union without access to the Single Market in exchange for having full control over immigration.



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