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General Election last chance to avoid 'disastrous hard Brexit', says Lib Dems Tim Farron

The snap general election called by Theresa May is Britain's chance to avoid a "disastrous hard Brexit", the Liberal Democrats have said.

Party leader Tim Farron told voters "this is your chance to change the direction of your country" after the Prime Minister called an early vote on June 8.

The Lib Dems have consistently called for a second referendum on the final Brexit deal Mrs May achieves after negotiations with the European Union, and want to keep the UK in the European single market.

The Tories' 2015 general election victory saw the party gain several formerly Lib Dem seats in the south-west of England.

Mr 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."

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas welcomed an early vote at a time when "Britain is at a crossroads" and said the people should be given a say over the country's future direction.

She promised the Greens would present 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," Ms Lucas said.

"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."

Her co-leader, Jonathan Bartley, said the announcement of a snap election, following a string of denials there would be an early vote, revealed a "deep dishonesty at the heart of government".

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