UK prime minister Teresa May announced that she’ll be requesting an early election halfway through her term so that she has a better chance of pushing through Brexit, the decision to break off Britain from the EU. Learn more about how this can affect Brexit negotiations here.
Britain’s prime minister Theresa May stunned the UK on April 17 when she announced without warning her decision to seek an early general election on June 8, 2017 — two years before it’s supposed to happen. The general election should happen in 2020, , but May is proposing that an early election will unify the government as it struggles to deal with the Brexit issue.
May’s right-of-center Conservative Party rules by a slim majority in British Parliament over left-wing opposition Labour Party, and believes that a general election will strengthen her party’s chances of driving through Brexit negotiations without hindrance from liberals. At an impromptu press conference outside 10 Downing Street on April 17, May accused Labour of “political game-playing” that will “risk our ability to make a success of Brexit” and “cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country.”
“The only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and to seek your support for the decisions I must take,” May told reporters. “If we do not hold a general election now, their political game playing will continue. There should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not. We need a general election and we need one now.”
May’s call for an early general election can’t go through without parliamentary approval, though that seems likely with leaders calling for support on all sides. She requires the support of two-thirds of MPs in the House of Commons, and is expected to move a motion on Wednesday in the House of Commons calling for the June 8 vote. She has also spoken to Queen Elizabeth II about the matter, according to CNN.
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