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BACKGROUND THIS WEEK in Brexit: Britain calls general election

Europe
21.04.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Brussels (dpa) - Three weeks after Britain had officially signalled its intention to leave the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to hold a general election on June 8.

- MAY said in an unscheduled announcement on Tuesday that she had decided "reluctantly" to call a snap election because it was "the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead," including through the Brexit negotiating process

The British PARLIAMENT approved May‘s plan to hold the election with an overwhelming majority on Wednesday

- The announcement drew mixed reactions from across Britain and Northern Ireland:

Scotland‘s First Minister Nicola STURGEON said May‘s decision to call a snap election was an effort by her Conservatives "to move the UK to the right, force through a hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts."

In Northern Ireland, Irish republican party SINN FEIN reacted by saying it would oppose Brexit and push for special status for Northern Ireland after Brexit.

Jeremy CORBYN, the leader of Britain‘s largest opposition Labour party, welcomed the decision saying it would "give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim FARRON said the election would give voters the opportunity to avoid a damaging "hard Brexit" outside the EU single market and to build "a Britain that is open, tolerant and united."

- Meanwhile, there was little reaction from abroad:

The EUROPEAN COMMISSION only said that Brexit negotiations would commence after the general election on June 8. Previously, the EU had said that talks could begin any time after May 22 when the negotiating mandate is expected to be approved by the remaining EU member states.

 

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