The British Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a snap UK general election on June 8th
She says that she has only “recently and reluctantly” come to the conclusion that a general election is necessary.
“Since I became prime minister I have said that there should be no election until 2020, but now I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take.”
Her announcement however has raised questions over what will happen to Brexit, less than a month after Article 50 was triggered for the UK to leave the European Union.
Critics say the election could push Brexit negotiations back, using the German and French elections as examples of how Article 50 was pushed back.
May said voting for the Tories would “get the job done” as Britain would have a “strong and stable” leadership, while voting for anybody else would lead to a “weak and unstable” coalition Government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
May added her government has achieved its mandate after the Brexit referendum, saying there can be “no turning back.”
“If we do not hold a general election now … political game playing will continue, and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election.
“Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country.
“So we need a general election and we need one now.”
May says there should be “unity” in Westminster over Brexit, but there is not. She says Labour has threatened to vote against the final deal, the Liberal Democrats want to bring parliamentary business to a standstill and the Scottish National Party (SNP) want to vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the EU.
She says she is not prepared to allow her opponents to jeopardize Brexit negotiations.
“Our opponents believe that because the government’s majority is so small, our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course. They are wrong.
“They underestimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country.”
May’s spokesperson said the PM had the full backing of her ministers for an early election and that she told the Queen of her plans by telephone on Monday.
The Brexit timetable will be unaffected by the early election, and officials and secretaries of states remain in place, the spokesperson added.
May says she will move a motion in the Commons on Wednesday proposing the election.
“It will be a choice between strong and stable leadership in the national interest, with me as your prime minister, or weak and unstable government under a coalition led by Jeremy Corbyn.”
She added: “It was with reluctance that I decided the country needed this election but it is with conviction that I say it is necessary … so tomorrow let the House of Commons vote for an election, let everybody put forward their proposals for Brexit and their vision for Government.”