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UK lawmakers overwhelmingly back June election


British lawmakers voted by a resounding 522 to 13 on Wednesday to back Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap election on June 8.

The decision came after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had a phone call with May following her election announcement Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said on Tuesday: "This is [Mrs May's] prerogative and is now a matter for the House of Commons of the United Kingdom".

Rejecting the PM's claim that an election is needed to prevent disunity at Westminster undermining a Brexit deal, Mr Corbyn said: "There is no obstacle to the Government negotiating, but, instead of getting on with the job, she is painting herself as the prisoner of the Liberal Democrats".

The next elections were scheduled to take place in 2020, but Theresa May, who is now experiencing a popularity peak, finds that the right moment has come to reinforce her legitimacy and have more "elbow room", when the delicate negotiating period with the European Union will begin.

May hit back that Labour offered only "bankruptcy and chaos", but denied she was complacent, saying: "We will be out there fighting for every vote".

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Earlier, under electoral law, May must win a two thirds majority in a parliamentary vote due to be held later on Wednesday before she can officially call an early election.

The Commission will not interfere with the possible British elections because they are "a domestic issue", the spokesman said.

Speaking earlier, the premier suggested she won't use the election to give voters more detail about the kind of Brexit she wants, instead asking them to trust her to deliver.

May told The Sun newspaper that if Britain were still negotiating with the bloc in the run-up to a national election, "the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us".

But Labour MP Gisela Stuart, one of the architects of Brexit as co-chair of Vote Leave, said she would be standing down after 20 years as MP for Birmingham Edgbaston.

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.

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But how do P&J readers feel about a snap General Election?

Cooper reeled off the times May ruled out an early vote, ending with: "That wasn't true, was it?"

The objective of the election, May said, is to give Britain the "strong and stable leadership it deserves" following the decision to leave the European Union.

"Make no mistake, if the SNP wins this election in Scotland - and the Tories don't - then Theresa May's attempt to block our mandate to hold another referendum when the time is right, will crumble to dust", SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

May's was targeted on her u-turn on going to the polls - after repeatedly saying, as recently as last month, that she wouldn't call a vote - which was pointed out by Corbyn in his opening remarks.

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