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Prime minister asks for backing for early vote
20 April 2017, 03:58 | Jodi Jackson
European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas made the remarks after saying his boss, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, spoke Tuesday to British Prime Minister Theresa May following her shock call for an early election.
British lawmakers have voted by a resounding 522 to 13 to back Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a national election on June 8.
Philip Dunne, Owen Paterson, Daniel Kawczynski, Lucy Allan, Mark Pritchard, and Glyn Davies, all voted with the government to abandon the fixed-term parliament for 2015-20, and instead hold a general election on June 8.
"Fortuitously for them, they find themselves in a position of being the only party that is making the anti-Brexit case", said Rob Ford, political science professor at the University of Manchester. 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. "I am stepping down from the House of Commons - for now", he wrote in a letter to his constituents.
Both Sturgeon's Scottish Nationalists and the Liberal Democrats want Britain to remain in the EU's single market-something May has ruled out, along with a referendum on any deal she wins.
It's this prospect of a so-called "hard Brexit" that has mainly anxious businesses in Britain, many of which trade intensely with the European Union, the biggest destination for British exports.
Brok said that could help "so that we can conduct the negotiations professionally in the next 1 1/2 years to reach a sensible result that reduces the damage". The currency fall has helped exporters by making their goods more competitive, but that is a one-off gain that could be more than offset by the impact of European Union tariffs on British goods and additional barriers to trade.
May formally notified the European Union (EU) on 29 March of Britain's intention to leave, beginning a two-year negotiating period to settle divorce terms and agree a new trading relationship. Its lawmakers abstained during Wednesday's vote.
Technically, there are now only two ways to call early elections.
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".
They also say that a big victory for May will dilute the influence of those lawmakers pushing for a "hard Brexit" as well as strengthening May's overall negotiating stance.
Still, elections have a habit of delivering unexpected outcomes.
"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". Ultimately, the British people decided it wasn't Heath, and Labour's Harold Wilson returned as prime minister.
The fate of May's predecessor, David Cameron, also holds out a potential warning for May.
"What the British people - what the people of the United Kingdom - voted for a year ago was for the UK to leave the European Union. But I will remain active in the debate about our country's future and on the issues I care about, like the success of the Northern Powerhouse", he said. Some have even said the reaction since May's announcement was overdone and liable to a reverse.
"This will allow the EU27 to start negotiations", he said.
"This election is a vote for Brexit and a vote for Theresa May and her leadership".
Hardly a recipe for long-lasting currency strength, then.
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