Pound surge suggests United Kingdom election will yield smoother Brexit


Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May has picked an election date for which her Opposition will struggle to prepare for and which its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, may not recover from.

After addressing a rowdy session of the House of Commons, May won the support of 522 lawmakers in the 650-seat Parliament for an election on June 8.

May stunned the country on Tuesday when she announced her plan for an early vote, despite having repeatedly said she would wait until the next election scheduled in 2020.

British lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly backed Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap election, paving the way for a June vote she hopes will give her a "mandate to complete Brexit".

May has justified her change of heart as an effort to reallocate the country's "unity of purpose" to Westminster in the event of a Conservative victory, a reaction to the apparent risk that the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the SNP may vote against the final Brexit deal.

"I've taken this decision because I genuinely believe it is in the national interest", May told BBC radio.

She added: "It is only with the Conservatives that you get the strong and stable leadership that this country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond".

"Even though May looks set to secure a strong mandate from United Kingdom voters, the priority of European Union negotiators heading into the Brexit talks remains the protection of the European Union", said Jane Foley, senior foreign exchange strategist at Rabobank.

All sides are now gearing up for the fourth major election in four years, after last June's shock referendum vote for Brexit, the 2015 general election, and the 2014 Scottish independence vote.

Mrs May, who became PM last July after the European Union referendum, told MPs it would wrong for the United Kingdom to find itself reaching the most "difficult and sensitive" phase of Brexit negotiations in late 2018 and early 2019 when a general election was "looming on the horizon".

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She has also played up the strength of the British economy, which has so far defied predictions of a slowdown - a key campaign theme that her Conservative Party will use to try to undermine Labour in the election.

Downing Street said the June election will not affect May's Brexit timetable.

Somewhat unkindly, some papers are saying May called the election because she feared the controversial Corbyn was about to resign and she would face a stronger Opposition leader. We can't win, they say, because we don't play their game.

Speaking at an election rally in Bolton last night, Mrs May said: 'Give me the mandate to fight for Britain and give me the mandate to deliver for Britain'.

I'm kicking off our #GeneralElection campaign in one of the constituencies we'll win back to form a government to transform Britain.

"I want a Labour government that ensures that carers are properly supported when they are caring for loved ones".

"Fortuitously for them, they find themselves in a position of being the only party that is making the anti-Brexit case", said Rob Ford, political science professor at the University of Manchester.

The German global banking group said it was abandoning its bearish stance on the British pound.

Tomorrow he'll make his first big election speech, his first big chance to recast that argument.