MPs react to shock election announcement

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REACTION to the Prime Minister's announcement of a snap general election in June has been swift.

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in Downing Street, London, announcing a snap general election on June 8. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 18, 2017. See PA story POLITICS May. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in Downing Street, London, announcing a snap general election on June 8. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 18, 2017. See PA story POLITICS May. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Theresa May made her decision known outside No10 yesterday morning and the House of Commons will vote today on whether an election will go ahead on June 8.

The Prime Minister claimed divisions at Westminster risked jeopardising the negotiations to pull the UK out of the EU.

Having repeatedly ruled out calling a snap election, Mrs May had "reluctantly" taken the decision to go to the country after seeing other parties "playing games" with the process of preparing for Brexit negotiations.

She told the Queen on Monday before getting the full approval of Cabinet yesterday.

Mrs May said: "I thought about this long and hard and came to the decision that to provide that stability and certainty for the future, this was the way to do it - to have an election.

"I trust the British people. The British people gave the government a job to do in terms of coming out of the EU and I'm going to be asking the British people to put their trust in me in ensuring we deliver a success of that."

Conservative David Mundell, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP, and Calum Kerr, SNP MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk reacted immediately to the news.

Mr Mundell confirmed he would stand and it would be in the existing constituency, changes for which have been proposed by the Boundary Commission.

He said: "As Mrs May said, he has reluctantly concludes that the timing of the next election in 2020 would not give the certainty or security which people are looking for in terms of getting Brexit done.

"The Brexit process will be completed in March 2019 but it will be very difficult to have it fully implemented ahead of a 2020 election and that has an impact on important areas like agriculture.

"With a snap election, we can have the negotiations and implementation within one parliament."

Mr Mundell said a "very significant part" of the election in Scotland and Dumfriesshire would be about keeping the UK together.

"I'm going to campaign for Scotland to remain in the UK. I will give to the electorate my commitment to do all I can."

Mr Kerr said: I welcome this opportunity to go back to the people who elected me and make a renewed case for representing the region I’m proud to call home.

"I do question the Prime Minister’s motives in calling this extraordinary vote. The naked opportunism puts the interests of an increasingly right-wing Tory party before those of the country.

"It is clearly an attempt to take advantage of the chaos in the Labour party which has failed so consistently to provide a functioning opposition. The SNP are the true opposition at Westminster.

"To vote Tory in June is endorse a hard Brexit and give the government an unconstrained mandate. In holding the government to account on Brexit, it is clear the Prime Minister knows she is losing the argument and she has called this election so it is out of the way before the full impact of Brexit becomes clear.

On the front bench at Westminster and in our communities I have stood up for the interests of the rural economy, taken forward the pressing issue of digital connectivity and worked with people of all parties, and none, on issues which matter to the Borders."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 11:23AM
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