European Stocks Drop for Snap Elections in UK

Henrietta Brewer
April 19, 2017

In an unusual move, Number 10 did not announce what subject she would address but statements by the Prime Minister in the street are usually reserved for big announcements.

The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act sets the general election date as the first Thursday in May every five years, meaning 2020 is the next expected contest.

"Before Easter I spent a few days walking in Wales with my husband, thought about this long and hard, and came to the decision that to provide that stability and certainty for the future that this was the way to do it, to have an election", she told ITV news. The election will be a vote on her performance so far.

May must first win the support of two-thirds of the parliament in a vote on Wednesday, which looked certain after Labour and the Liberal Democrats said they would vote in favour.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, welcomed May's announcement, making it very likely she will get lawmakers' backing for an election. The House of Commons can pave the way for an early vote by approving it with a two-thirds majority, or it can defeat the prime minister in a vote of confidence and have that result stand for two weeks.

Instead, she made it abundantly clear both then and regularly again over subsequent months that such a possibility had been conclusively ruled out and her term of office would run as meant to 2020.

Sturgeon has called for an independence vote in late 2018 or early 2019, before Brexit takes effect, but May has rebuffed her calls, saying that now is not the time to revisit the independence issue. "If you put all those things together they equal a general election".

Meanwhile, May's decision will not affect Brexit talks, the European Council said on Tuesday. 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. Mr Jeremy Corbyn, the party's unpopular far-left leader, will struggle to paper over such divisions, especially since he is an terrible campaigner; current projections are that Labour could be heading for its worst electoral defeat in generations. He said Labour would fight the election promising a fairer society and economy, and "a Brexit that works for all".

But if she thinks a stronger domestic mandate will blow down doors in Brussels and force them to make concessions, she is likely mistaken. "She's taking people for granted already and voters never like that".

But in a measure of the unlikeliness that the basic Brexit dynamic will shift, the Liberal Democrats are only polling at about 10 per cent in most recent surveys, compared to more than 40 per cent for the Conservatives. Leader Tim Farron said Tuesday that only his party can prevent a "disastrous hard Brexit".

That is her prerogative but she can not complain if she ends up presiding over the final break-up of the United Kingdom in the process.

"People may have voted to leave the European Union, but many did not vote for the extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May has imposed on us after being backed by Labour".

"This election is a huge opportunity for voters in Lichfield and Burntwood to change the direction of our country and ensure Britain has a decent opposition", he said.

It was "all the more important", she said, "that Scotland is protected from a Tory (Conservative) Party which now sees the chance of grabbing control of government for many years to come and moving the United Kingdom further to the right - forcing through a hard Brexit and imposing deeper cuts in the process".

She did include a number of dismissive references to the Scottish National Party, but failed to acknowledge that voters not only in Scotland but also in Northern Ireland chose decisively to stay in the European Union past year.

Other reports by iNewsToday