MPs clear way for general election on June 8

The call comes after the shock announcement by Theresa May yesterday that there would be another general election this year, despite the prime minister assuring the country last year that there would not be a general election until the scheduled year of 2020.

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

Unofficial electioneering kicked off in the weekly Prime Minister's Questions session in the House of Commons, as May traded barbs with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Meanwhile the Scottish National Party, which holds most of the seats in Scotland, is pushing its demands for a second referendum on independence in order to maintain close ties with the EU.

Elections are now set for 2020, just a year after the scheduled completion of Brexit talks.

She said that "Brexit isn't just about the letter that says we want to leave".

The Conservatives are expected to publish their manifesto in the week starting May 8.

She said: "Many business communities will understandably be concerned that attention will inevitably shift from the economy and the intricacies of leaving the European Union to a potential election campaign".

On migration, she would not rule out continuing with free movement for a transitional period after the formal point of Brexit - a situation that would have been hard to sell to voters if May was going into an election in 2020. The US presidential election, though debauched by Russian hacking and the behaviour or Donald Trump, was enlivened by the confrontations between Mr Trump and Hillary Clinton. If the findings of recent polls are borne out, Labour could lose 59 seats and be left with just 173 MPs - the party's lowest tally since 1935.

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With the Labour opposition weakened, May's gamble will probably pay off with an enhanced Conservative majority in Parliament - but it's unlikely to unite a country deeply split over the decision to quit the EU.

The House of Commons will vote on Wednesday on whether to approve the dissolution of parliament, which under the UK's fixed-term parliaments will require a two-thirds MPs majority.

Initially, EU officials had said that the talks could start in late May once a detailed negotiating mandate had been agreed among the EU's 27 other members. The UK voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union, but Scotland backed remaining by a large majority, and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is seeking to hold a referendum on independence from the UK. "It's about. getting the right deal from Europe".

"I think the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us".

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, who faced Mrs May when they were rival candidates at the 1992 general election in North West Durham, said: "The Prime Minister and I, back in 1992, debated publicly, forcibly and amicably when we were both candidates together".

Corbyn later ruled out any post-election coalition with the Scottish National Party. In 2010, the first British TV debates between the party leaders helped energise the electorate, pushed voter turnout up and brought the public to the centre of the arguments, as they never had before.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, May insisted there would "of course still be challenge, scrutiny and debate" about Brexit if she gets a mandate to carry out her plan.

"From the impact of a hard Tory Brexit in Scotland to the SNP's attempt to break up the United Kingdom; all areas must be under public scrutiny and a leaders' debate would be the right thing to do".

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