British Parliament Votes In Favour Of Early Election

"What do we know that the leader of the Labour Party, the leader of the Liberal Democrats and the leader of the Scottish nationalists have in common?" she asked parliament.

Schinas also said two British-based EU institutions, the European Banking Authority and European Medicines Agency (EMA), "must be based in the territory of the European Union" once Brexit is complete.

May formally notified the European Union on March 29 of Britain's intention to leave, beginning a two-year negotiating period to settle divorce terms and agree a new trading relationship. "This election can change the direction of our country, from the consequences of a potential hard Brexit outside the single market to the future of our NHS and social care, our schools and our environment", said Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron. Leaders of European Union states are due to adopt negotiating guidelines at an April 29 summit, and the bloc will prepare detailed plans for the talks with Britain by late May.

She has categorically denied the June 8 poll will be a sort of re-run of last year's referendum, saying there could be no "turning back" on the Brexit decision but if she was re-elected, it would be a vote of confidence in her government's central goals of gaining "control" of the UK's laws, borders and money.

In a statement outside Number 10 on Tuesday, the Prime Minister set out her plans to call an election for June 8 this year. "The result is not certain", she said in a speech at a GlaxoSmithKline factory in her constituency of Maidenhead.

"I believe that at this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, not division", May told parliament.

The government's current working majority is only 17 seats. "If people want to make sure a Conservative government can be held to account, if they want to make sure there is a strong voice for Scotland and they want to make sure Scotland is protected, they have to make sure they send SNP MPs back to Westminster", she added.

After debating the motion put forward by May in Parliament, 522 of the 650 sitting MPs threw their support behind the early election, well and truly passing the threshold of two-thirds needed to approve the plan.

That is highly likely to happen on Wednesday.

Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's questions.

Downing Street said the June election will not affect May's Brexit timetable.

Polls give May's Conservatives a double-digit lead on Labour.

Sturgeon said Tuesday that May was seeking "to crush the voices of people who disagree with her".

Tony Blair has predicted Theresa May will win a "large majority" in the general election but called for a "movement" of pro-EU voters to prevent her getting a mandate for a "Brexit at any cost".

The Scottish National Party now holds 54 of Scotland's 59 seats in the British Parliament, making it the third-largest party there.

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