Snap election could produce fresh debate over Europe - Kirkhope

Timothy Kirkhope, MEP for Yorkshire and The Humber.
Timothy Kirkhope, MEP for Yorkshire and The Humber.
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BRITAIN’S future relationship with Europe would be the main issue in a general election which would “almost inevitably” follow the election of two new party leaders in Westminster, according to a Yorkshire MEP.

Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope argued the likelihood of an early general election had risen with the prospect of a new prime minister being in place by September and Labour MPs seeking to unseat Jeremy Corbyn.

Such an election would take place before Brexit negotiations had been completed and perhaps even before the process had begun by the new prime minister triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Mr Kirkhope, who campaigned for a Remain vote in the referendum, said: “The question is what parties in that election put down in their manifestos?

“All that would take place well within. even if Article 50 has been invoked, the time when negotiations are taking place.”

Asked if it was possible such an election could lead to the wholesale reversal of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, he said:“It is not the most likely outcome in my view but I am just saying it is a possibility constitutionally.”

Mr Kirkhope said he was working to reassure constituents there would be no immediate practical changes as a result of last week’s vote and he was continuing his work as an MEP as normal.

He said: “That will continue as far as I am concerned until such time as there is a final negotiated settlement.”

Mr Kirkhope added: “People like myself who wanted to remain are still concerned that whatever happens now we get the best possible deal between the UK and the EU.”