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British MPs have passed a bill to dissolve parliament and hold a snap general election in seven weeks’ time on June 8.

Members of the House of Commons voted with 522 votes in favour, comfortably more than the two-thirds majority needed to overturn the UK’s fixed-term parliament. Thirteen MPs voted against.

Prime minister Theresa May called for an election yesterday to strengthen her government’s mandate as it negotiates its EU exit.

Having been appointed Conservative party leader and prime minister last summer, Mrs May is hoping to capitalise on a weak Labour party opposition to increase the Tories’ slim parliamentary majority of just 17 seats.

The pound has surged to a four-month high on the prospect of an early election, with investors betting a stronger domestic mandate will allow the PM to dilute the influence of her more hardline pro-Brexit MPs and give her more room to maneuver an EU exit and trade deal over the next two years.

Sterling was steady on the news, trading 0.1 per cent lower against the dollar at $1.2823.

Image via Reuters

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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