Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

German EU lawmaker hopes for compromise with UK


Labour veteran Dennis Skinner, one of those who voted against holding an election, told MPs earlier in the House of Commons that May should ban all Tory MPs involved in the alleged election expenses investigation from the 2015 election from the upcoming election.

Experts predict that her ruling Conservative Party could win around 100 more seats at the election on June 8, which should bolster support for her Brexit plan - a prospect that has strengthened the pound.

The prime minister shocked Westminster on Tuesday with the surprise announcement that she would seek an early election. Both May and the European Commission have said that negotiations will only start in earnest after the United Kingdom elections, if approved.

Standing outside her Downing Street office, May said she had been reluctant about asking parliament to back her move to bring forward the poll from 2020. but decided it was necessary to try to stop the opposition "jeopardising" her work on Brexit.

And he told MPs: "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".

May's Conservatives now hold 330 House of Commons seats and Labour 229. "This election is about her government's failure to rebuild the economy and living standards for the majority; it is about the crisis her government has plunged our NHS into; the cuts to our children's schools which will limit the chances of every child in Britain - four million of whom now live in poverty".

A national election in May 2015 was followed by the June 2016 referendum on European Union membership.

The former interior minister, who became prime minister without an election when her predecessor David Cameron quit after last year's referendum vote for Brexit, enjoys a runaway lead over the main opposition Labour Party in opinion polls. 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.

SNP MPs abstained on the vote.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn set the tone for his campaign by criticizing May for her "broken promises" on healthcare and education, and jabbed at her for not agreeing to take part in television debates before the election.

It had been hoped talks could start by the end of that month, but EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Wednesday that "the real political negotiations" with Britain would not start till after the June 8 election. She said: "The division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit". Elections are now set for 2020, just a year after the scheduled completion of Brexit talks.

May ruled out participating in televised debates with other leaders.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has called for an early election.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, meanwhile, accused the prime minister of looking after the interests of "party before country".

But Corbyn said the Prime Minister's U-turn showed she could not be trusted to run the country.

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