UK's May wins MPs' backing snap poll

"We believe their pursuit of a hard Brexit is against the interests of the United Kingdom and its citizens and the Government is seeking to minimise any opposition".

"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.

Corbyn, whose deeply divided party is languishing behind the Conservatives in opinion polls, accused the government of "broken promises" on health, education and the economy during its seven years in office.

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas welcomed an early vote at a time when "Britain is at a crossroads" and promised that the Greens would present a "bold, positive vision for a different kind of Britain".

Now that lawmakers have approved the election, Parliament will be dissolved on May 2.

Members of the British Parliament are widely expected on Wednesday to approve Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to hold an early general election on June 8.

Ten of the 100 seats with the highest Remain vote last June are in the North of England, two of which are now held by the Liberal Democrats and seven by Labour.

After winning backing from the British parliament to hold an early general election, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May hit the campaign trail straight away with her first event in Bolton, in North West England overnight.

The snap vote is the latest twist in a turbulent year in British politics, which was plunged into turmoil when the country unexpectedly voted to leave the European Union last year.

The election is the fourth major vote in four years, after last June's European Union referendum, the 2015 general election, and the 2014 Scottish independence vote.

May has framed the election, in which her ruling Conservative party could win as many as 100 extra seats, as a way of securing the best possible Brexit deal for the UK.

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".

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.

May's office said she and Tajani agreed "on the importance of giving early certainty about the status of British citizens living elsewhere in the European Union and citizens of other member states in the U.K".

Mr Munro added: "There is a proven track record over two elections and two referendums that debates reach huge audiences including a lot of young people who don't watch conventional political coverage in great numbers".

Sixty-one per cent of voters agreed that opposition parties were doing more harm than good, and 60pc said the election would provide more stability.

Televised debates give the opposition a chance to score points against the establishment - as Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg successfully did during the 2010 debates.

"I certainly didn't expect an election coming round so soon - especially as only two weeks ago the prime minister was saying "now is not the time" and that the General Election would be held in May 2020".

  • Leroy Wright