Leading figures react to Theresa May's snap election call

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LIBERAL DEMOCRAT leader Tim Farron moved quickly to frame the snap General Election as fresh Brexit referendum.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: "This election is your chance to change the direction of our country.

“If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the Single Market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance.

"Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "“I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.

“Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.

“In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”

Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, said: "Britain is at a crossroads – and today’s announcement means that people are rightly given a say over the direction this country is going to take.

"Only the Green Party offers a bold, positive vision for a different kind of Britain. At this election we will stand for an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few; a Britain that’s open to the world and the protection of our precious environment.

"We will stand up to the politics of hatred and division that is scarring our communities and give people across the country a chance to vote for a better Britain.”

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall: "We welcome the opportunity to take UKIP's positive message to the country.

"However, we believe that the Prime Minister's decision to call this election is a cynical decision driven more by the weakness of Corbyn's Labour Party rather than the good of the country. There is also the prospect of a slew of Tory held by-elections caused by the seeming systematic breach of electoral law at the last election, predominantly in places where UKIP were pressing the Conservatives hard.

"We are in the midst of Brexit negotiations so this election will provide a perfect opportunity for the 52% to vote for UKIP the only party wholeheartedly committed to a clean quick and efficient Brexit."

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, right, welcomes British Secretary of State David Davis for a meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Monday July 17, 2017.

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