British pound jumps higher after election is called

Patrice Gainsbourg
Abril 19, 2017

The logic behind the FtPA 2011 was to establish a regular, five-yearly, general election cycle and provide a degree of predictability and stability to British politics.

Widely respected across the political spectrum, Johnson had once been tipped as a potential leader of the party, but has found himself increasingly marginalised under the stewardship of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with the pair clashing most notably over Brexit.

Parliament's point man on the Brexit negotiations, former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, also avoided suggesting the election could now keep Britain in the EU.

"The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government", he said.

But while May secured the parliament's support to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty last month, eurosceptics and europhiles alike are gearing up for further battles over the details of the negotiations.

The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.

This is despite the fact that prior to the referendum, with the exception of the DUP, the majority of MPs from all parties who declared their position were in favour of remaining in the EU. May was not a prime ministerial candidate, but came to the position after rivals pulled out.

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That is the big question mark hanging over the election. While recent opinion polls have put Ms.

Theresa May is to make a statement in Downing Street at 11.15am after Cabinet. A general election will not enhance the Prime Minister's mandate for leaving the European Union - last year's referendum did that - and the Prime Minister can not hope to secure the support of 52% of voters in a general election. "They hear nothing about what the government is going to do on migration". Although the calling of the General Election is being seen as a means to neutralize the so-called "Bremoaners", it may also be an opportunity to neutralize the Brexit "Ultras", who seek a clean Brexit whatever the economic cost to the UK.

That said, the pressure and distraction of looming elections will now be on Brussels, rather than London.

Though he leads a bloc which includes the Liberal Democrats, the main British party still campaigning against Brexit, he said only that the election would give voters a chance to influence the future relationship between Britain and the EU. "[But] somehow it's alright to have a general election". The Conservatives would have no trouble winning a huge majority of the seats on offer.

The Prime Minister has been dismissive of SNP demands for a second independence referendum. But, with the snap election due to take place on 8 June, political parties have little time to take on the challenge.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has said he is concerned that the snap general election will hit Stormont powersharing talks.

Finally, and most importantly, this is a significant and worrying distraction from the pressing issue of negotiating Britain's withdrawal from the EU. This is arguably the most significant and challenging negotiation any United Kingdom government has faced in recent times. May formally triggered a two-year countdown to Brexit on March 29. And as elections are so unpredictable, there is always the outside risk it could spark a reversal in the entire Brexit process. Parliament is now deeply involved in scrutinising Brexit. Negotiations over Brexit could lead to fissures within the party between those wanting a "hard" Brexit and those looking to retain some connection with the European Union.

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