United Kingdom early elections 'dangerous': Tony Blair

Ballot box

Ballot box

All sides are now gearing up for the fourth major election in four years, after last June's shock referendum vote for Brexit, the 2015 general election, and the 2014 Scottish independence vote. And also speak for the values that I have espoused as a chancellor and as a member of parliament for 16 years, which are the openness, the tolerance, the diversity that I think makes Britain a great country.

The poll also revealed 49 per cent of people were in favour of the snap election, in spite of fears over voter apathy.

The Prime Minister received a boost on Wednesday ahead of exit negotiations and for an election she is seeking to cast as a vote on Brexit, with US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan saying America stands ready to strike a free trade deal with the United Kingdom as soon as possible.

Lawmakers voted Wednesday by a resounding 522 to 13 to back May's call for an election, easily surpassing the two-thirds majority in the 650-seat House of Commons needed to trigger an early vote.

He told MPs earlier in the Commons: "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".

A large majority for the Tories would strengthen the Government's hand in negotiating a good Brexit deal and provide "strong and stable leadership in the national interest", she said.

At an appearance with her party's MPs outside Westminster, Ms Sturgeon said the Prime Minister was guilty of political opportunism for using the election to "crush the parliamentary opposition" to a hard Brexit. She will likely get it, since Labour has welcomed the early election.

The smaller Liberal Democrats, who lost most of their seats in 2015 after entering coalition with the Conservatives, are hoping to capitalise on their strong support for the European Union to win new support.

Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn is resisting Mrs May's efforts to make Britain's exit from the European Union the defining issue of the election, insisting the poll instead gives voters a chance to pass judgement on the Conservatives' record on austerity and public spending cuts.

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.

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".

A European Commission spokesman said the "real political" negotiations on Brexit will start after the election.

Theresa May said that Jeremy Corbyn was not fit to lead, but faced criticism over her refusal to take part in TV debates. "It's about ... getting the right deal from Europe", May said.

Montgomeryshire MP, Glyn Davies, said the Prime Minister had been left with "little choice" due to frustration over Brexit.

Senior Liberal Democrats have already "confirmed" to The Telegraph that Blair "could" strike an alliance with Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and lead a joint campaign against Brexit at the general election.

"It is critical that in going into the most significant negotiations in this country for a generation that the Prime Minister has as strong a hand as possible".

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