United Kingdom Will Hold an Early Election in June

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 20, 2017

Analysts at Nomura, the Japanese investment bank, said it was "highly unlikely" that anti-Brexit politicians might derail the country's European Union exit following UK Prime Minister Theresa May's decision yesterday to hold a snap general election.

"Britain is leaving the European Union and there can be no turning back", said May. We must set that process in motion, there is no turning back.

Mrs May said all Labour had to offer the country was "bankruptcy and chaos" while a Conservative victory would strengthen her hand in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

"I don't think you can just stand aloof from it, I think people would look down on that rather".

May will be going into the election holding 330 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, with a working majority of 17.

The election announcement caused a rally in the pound, which had fallen since the Brexit vote, amid speculation that May will be returned with a stronger mandate. Opinion polls give them a big lead over the Labour opposition, and May is gambling that an election will deliver her a personal mandate from voters and produce a bigger Conservative majority in Parliament.

"We see this decision as much as a decision to curtail the "hard Brexit" faction within the Conservative Party as it is to contain anti-Brexit political parties", said Derek Halpenny, European head of global markets research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn backed Theresa May's calls for a snap general election yesterday, following her surprise announcement on Downing Street. He will attempt to position his party as an "effective alternative" to the Tories.

May was subsequently questioned for a third time on her stance, this time by Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, who told her: "The PM and I in 1992 debated publicly, forcibly, and amicably when we were both candidates together". In this case, the largest party can form a minority government if it wins a vote of confidence, or else two parties can form a coalition government, as the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats did in 2010.

Following the election decision, the parliament will be dissolved on May 2.

"Core voters in the north who voted for Brexit are not convinced, and metropolitan liberal voters aren't convinced by that either", political expert and author Eliza Filby told AFP.

The spokesman noted that this did not mean there will be a delay in Brexit talks, "because negotiations were meant to start in June regardless of the United Kingdom government's decision to call an election on the 8th.". May and Sturgeon have been a loggerheads over whether or not a second Scottish referendum can go forward before Brexit comes into effect. However, the party is also unlikely to lose seats as their support has stayed steady.

The party that wins a majority in Parliament is invited to form a Government, with its leader becoming the Prime Minister. However, the Euroskeptic party still has a support base, and leader Paul Nuttall will seek to paint May as a political opportunist. "That's what our plans for Brexit and our plans for a stronger Britain will deliver".

Other parties now holding Commons' seats include the Greens (one), Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (eight) and Sinn Fein (four), as well as Wales' Plaid Cymru (three).

As the debate began, former chancellor George Osborne - who has recently been appointed editor of the London Evening Standard - announced he would not be standing for election on June 8.

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