Theresa May accused of 'opportunism' over election by EU Brexit negotiator

Prime Minister Theresa May goes canvassing with local Conservative candidate Joy Morrissey in Ealing London Britain

Prime Minister Theresa May goes canvassing with local Conservative candidate Joy Morrissey in Ealing Thomson Reuters

Addressing an audience of Labour supporters in London, Mr Corbyn inveighed against the "morally bankrupt" Conservatives who he said refused to employ the required punitive measures against tax avoiders and other members of a "gilded elite", who were taking wealth "from the pockets of ordinary working people".

"At this election, people are going to have a very clear choice", she said.

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With Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives dominating Britain's opinion polls, opposition MPs are bracing for a fierce election fight - none more so than in Chester, where Labour's majority is just 93.

Many Labour MPs view Corbyn as an electoral liability, rejecting his left-wing views as impractical, and are already seeking to distance themselves from him in the campaign.

In addition, the Liberal Democrats could appeal to more moderate Tory voters, because they remain committed to European Union single-market membership.

The president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani says he and British Prime Minister Theresa May agree that the rights of EU nationals living in the United Kingdom need to be secured as quickly as possible in Brexit negotiations.

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When pressed on what the election was about, she said: "This election is about preventing the Tories (Conservatives) from getting such an overwhelming majority that there is no possibility of dissent in this country".

A debate would also see May challenged over her handling of Brexit, where she has steadfastly refused to share even the slightest shadow of her plans with the country or parliament until she was forced to by the courts. In order to bring the election forward to June 2017, a two-thirds vote of the House of Commons is required to assent to the new timetable.

A Labour Party spokesman had also told the Daily Mirror: "Our position hasn't changed and we have laid out our six tests for any Brexit deal". Offering voters a second referendum on a future Brexit deal is not in the cards right now, a spokesman said.

"The European Parliament will vote against only if the citizens rights is outside".

He said: "We know that Article 50 is there to be revoked".

"A second referendum is not our policy and it won't be in our manifesto", Corbyn's spokesperson said.

The European Parliament is expected to play a peripheral role in the negotiations themselves, but could veto the final deal in a vote, which Tajani said he expected to be held in early 2019, once negotiations have concluded.

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