Britain's House of Commons approves snap general election

Votes in France in April and May, and in Germany in September, have the potential to reshape the political landscape around the two years of Brexit talks with the European Union expected to start in earnest in June.

British lawmakers voted by a resounding 522 to 13 on Wednesday to back Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap election on June 8.

A total of 12 Labour MPs have stood down ahead of the summer general election.

May's Conservative Party holds a slim majority in Parliament's lower House of Commons and May is banking on gaining a greater share of the seats to make Brexit a smoother transition for her government.

While promising to run a "positive and optimistic campaign", she said the choice at the election was between her "strong and stable leadership" or a "coalition of chaos" led by Mr Corbyn.

Harley Kagan, group managing director at United Trust Bank, said: "Although a General Election might normally add yet more uncertainty, a firm majority for Theresa May and the Conservative Party could bring more certainty for the UK sooner than expected".

"So many people in modern Britain do what seems like the right thing to do".

Local Labour Member of the European Parliament Alex Mayer, however, has welcomed the announcement of an early general election as the flawless opportunity to take the fight to the Conservatives.

"A stronger economy, an economy with the deficit almost two-thirds down, with 30 million people with a tax cut, four million people taken out of income tax altogether, record levels of employment and £1,250 more a year for pensioners".

"We won't be doing television debates", May said, adding that politicians should spend election campaigns "out and about" meeting voters.

"It is a record of under-investment and failure that proves that this Government treats loyal public servants with contempt".

"Austerity has failed", he said.

YouGov said the results represent the highest vote share for the Conservatives since May 2008. They get jobs, they spend all day working hard, they save to buy their own home, they raise children, they look after elderly or sick relatives.

That prompted claims from the Conservatives that Labour was planning to disrupt Brexit.

"Over the last seven years the Tories have broken every promise on living standards, the deficit, debt, the National Health Service and schools funding".

Mr Corbyn promised he would not "play by the rules" if he won the election, but would take on the "cosy cartels that are hoarding this country's wealth for themselves".

European Union officials say Britain's surprise election will not interrupt the bloc's preparations for Brexit talks - though they will slightly delay the start of negotiations.

The announcement marked a U-turn for May, who had repeatedly said she would not seek an early vote.

In another phrase she used to justify an early general election, the Prime Minister said: "The country is coming together but Westminster is not".

Corbyn, who plans to namecheck Southern rail, Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green and Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, will vow to "overturn the rigged system". How so Prime Minister?

"The conservatives can always find money to go and bomb Libya or Syria or whichever other country in the Middle East that they happen to be attacking".

"So does the Prime Minister know which year the deficit will now be eradicated?"

"If we succeed in getting a bigger majority then Mrs May will have the majority in Parliament that she needs to secure the best possible deal for Britain".

Speaker John Bercow had to intervene as the shouts from the Labour benches intensified.

"I think the next election will be in 2020", she said. We have set that process in motion, there is no turning back.