Theresa May has called a snap general election for June 8 in a statement from Downing Street this morning.
In her speech outside Downing Street, the Prime Minister said that she was ‘not prepared to let Brexit opponents weaken the UK’.
May declared that ‘The country is coming together, but Westminster is not’, citing Labour, Lib Dem, and the Scottish Independent Party’s resistance to Brexit as weakening the government.
Theresa May said:
In recent weeks, Labour have threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill.
The Scottish National Party said they will vote against the legislation that formerly repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union.
Unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.
If we do not hold a general election now, their political game playing will continue.
The Prime Minister has confirmed the rumours for snap election in the UK.
In the center of Brexit negotiations is prime time to call a surprise election because she could fit it in within six weeks, minimising its interference with negotiations.
During the Brexit negotiations, May is almost certainly going to have to make compromises that could discourage pro-leave voters from re-electing Conservatives in 2020.
If she wins a majority now, before she reveals any plans for Brexit negotiations, she can secure her place in government for another five years.
Under the 2011 Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the PM can only call an election if two thirds of lawmakers vote for it. This vote will take place tomorrow.
— YouGov (@YouGov) April 17, 2017
Britain is leaving the European Union and there can be no turning back. And as we look to the future, the Government has the right plan for negotiating our new relationship with Europe.
We want a deep and special partnership between a strong and successful European Union and a United Kingdom that is free to chart its own way in the world.
That means we will regain control of our own money, our own laws and our own borders and we will be free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world.
This is the right approach, and it is in the national interest. But the other political parties oppose it.
With the PM calling for a general election on 8 June, 50% say she would be make the best PM, 14% for Jeremy Corbyn, 36% don't know pic.twitter.com/qhhdCe5nFe
— YouGov (@YouGov) April 18, 2017
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.
May concluded that she was announcing the new election ‘with reluctance’ but ‘it is with strong conviction that I believe it is necessary to secure a strong and stable leadership this country needs’.
She thinks it is ‘the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead’.