Theresa May urged by William Hague to hold early election and scrap Fixed Term Parliaments Act

'We have a new Prime Minister and Cabinet facing the most complex challenges of modern times: Brexit negotiations, the Trump administration, the threat from Scottish nationalists, and many other issues,' wrote Lord Hague 

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William Hague, the former Conservative leader, has urged Theresa May to call for an early general in order to avoid further parliamentary stand-offs over Brexit.

Becoming the most senior Tory to advocate scrapping the coalition’s Fixed Term Parliaments Act, Lord Hague argues his party would have “very good chance” of securing a divisive majority in the Commons if the Prime Minister went to the country.

Labour, he adds, is in its “worst condition since the early Thirties” and with “its least credible leader ever”.

It comes as the Prime Minister braces for defeat in the Lords, with many peers demanding Parliament gets a “meaningful” vote on the final Brexit deal. The peer said there was "no doubt" Ms May would have a better chance of making Brexit a success with a “decisive” majority in the Commons, warning her that different factions in Parliament will inevitably find parts of the exit deal “difficult to stomach”.

Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act rules dictate that general elections are held every five years, meaning there can be no election before 2020. But there has been speculation that some MPs on Conservative benches believe a snap election following the referendum could be desirable – especially to assert the authority of Ms May.

In order to unpick the legislation and call for a snap election, the Conservatives would need the support of around two-thirds of MPs in the Commons.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Lord Hague argues that bringing forward an election “would strengthen the government’s hand at home and abroad” and avoid any further parliamentary deadlocks.

He continued: "We have a new Prime Minister and Cabinet facing the most complex challenges of modern times: Brexit negotiations, the Trump administration, the threat from Scottish nationalists, and many other issues.

“There is no doubt that they would be in a stronger position to take the country through these challenges successfully if they had a large and decisive majority in the Commons and a new full term ahead of them."

Ahead of the expected clash between peers and the Government over Parliament's role in approving the final Brexit deal, Lord Hague went on: "Any deal is bound to be full of compromises which one group or another in Parliament finds difficult to stomach.

"As British law needs to be amended countless times to take account of leaving the EU treaties, the Government could face many close votes, concessions or defeats as it tries to implement Brexit.

"That prospect will embolden the EU negotiators, and makes an agreement that is good for the UK harder to achieve.

"It could also lead to a situation where the Prime Minister faces a stand-off with Parliament over a deal that will have taken two years to negotiate and is nearly impossible to change."

Speaking to The Independent at the end of 2016,  Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said he would instruct his MPs to back an early election if the Prime Minister wished to call one. He added:“I personally am slightly sceptical about the Fixed-Term Parliaments Acts anyway… she has not said she’s going to do that but that is what I’m saying is one possibility.

“If there’s a vote to dissolve Parliament then obviously we will vote with it.”

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