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Has Theresa May broken the British people's trust?

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The SNP had said it supports fixed-term parliaments, but would not stand in the way of an early election.

Brexit, he said when he hosted May at the White House in late January, is going to be a "wonderful thing".

An election held in 2020, shortly after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union under conditions that are unknown, might have been hard for May's Conservatives to win.

She said that since Britons voted to leave the European Union in June, the country had come together, but politicians had not.

While voter registration has already closed for the May 4 elections, the cut-off date for June 8 has yet to be announced. Leader Tim Farron said Tuesday that only his party can prevent a "disastrous hard Brexit". Why call an election now?

The British currency, which had weakened before the announcement, was up by more than a cent against the dollar.

Spot gold added 0.4 percent to $1,289.47 an ounce.

The prime minister is hoping to significantly boost her current Commons majority of 17 to increase her authority, ahead of 18 months of talks which will determine the manner of the UK's exit from the EU.

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: "For investors it adds another layer of complexity to an already uncertain picture for United Kingdom and European assets".

"She says that it is because the country has to unite behind her in the process of Brexit".

The Queen was given advanced warning of the early General Election on Monday after the Prime Minister telephoned her to inform the monarch of the news. He said that the election would reduce the chances of any reversal of Britain's decision to leave the EU.

"She is clearly betting that the Tories can win a bigger majority in England given the utter disarray in the Labour Party".

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May's party could win the election, and move forth with her proposed Brexit strategy, or another party could take power and change the course of action.

Vasileios Gkionakis, a global FX strategist at UniCredit, said May's decision to call an election was a "smart move".

Underlining divisions the vote is unlikely to mend, however, Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of the Scottish government, described the decision as a "huge political miscalculation" that could help her efforts to hold a new independence referendum. This is three years ahead of scheduled elections, which were due in May 2020.

The British pound rallied as much as 2.7 percent against the US dollar to hit its highest level since early October after British Prime Minister Theresa May surprised markets by calling for an early parliamentary election.

No prime minister in modern polling history has gone into a general election with such a commanding lead in the polls as May, whose Tories have registered advantages of as many as 21 points over Labour in recent days, on 44% to 23% for Jeremy Corbyn's party.

May has repeatedly said she does not want to be distracted by time-consuming campaigning - but opinion polls give her a strong lead, the economy is weathering the Brexit vote and she has faced opposition from her own party for some of her domestic reforms.

The British pound has fallen amid mounting speculation that Prime Minister Theresa May is planning to call an early general election.

Earlier, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 lost 1.21 percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.40 percent.

The failed North Korean missile test over the weekend was an attempt by the reclusive country to "provoke something", U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday, pledging that the United States will work with China to reduce tensions.

Such statements are generally reserved for major news, such as resignations and election calls.

May - who took office last July after her predecessor David Cameron stepped down - said an election is needed because the country is coming together but Parliament is not.

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