20/04/2017 03:37 BST | Updated 20/04/2017 03:37 BST

A Snap General Election Is A Cynical Distraction From The Major Issues Facing Britain

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The Prime Minister's decision to call a General Election is a cynical distraction from the major political issues facing the country and the world today.

The world is in such a volatile state at the moment: tens of thousands of refugees; the continuing tragedy in Syria after six years of war; the Yemen; North Korea; and, an unpredictable US President.

In the UK, there are looming problems on health, education, social care and welfare. There is also the serious prospect of the breakup of the UK, as the First Minister of Scotland attempts to call a Second Referendum on independence.

Furthermore, having followed the difficult Peace Process in Northern Ireland throughout my time as an MP, I am genuinely concerned that the Government is causing harm in the region as it fails to end the political deadlock in Stormont.

Against this background, it's clear that the Prime Minister is trying to protect her own back with a cut and run General Election. We need people sitting and discussing not knocking on doors.

It's obvious that her negotiations with the EU are going to be bumpy and difficult. It will not be the case of a few handshakes, but tough arguments with our EU partners on the terms of the exit ahead.

As it becomes clearer to the public and politicians alike, the EU will talk tough and act tough. The diversion of money and the UK Civil Service is going to cost us all dear.

As a former MEP who took the first petition from the UK to the EU Parliament in 1975 on equal rights for men and women, I know that the powers of the EU Parliament should not be underestimated.

In the final stages of the negotiations, the EU Parliament will be able to use its vote. If they do not agree, they have the ultimate power of using their veto.

The Prime Minister has taken a big risk by calling a General Election to save her own skin. It is an indulgence at this time which we can ill afford.

Ann Clwyd is the Labour MP for Cynon Valley