Theresa May seeks snap elections ahead of Brexit
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 18, 2017,
Apr 18, 2017, 23:47
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday that she would ask for a snap election to be held June 8 - less than a year after voters made a decision to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union.
But the Brexit negotiations have opened up divisions within Parliament, including her own Conservative Party, over what kind of settlement Britain should make with the E.U. May said an election would help end that.
The British leader challenged opposition parties to band together on June 8, a move analysts say is a risky but calculated move for May, given the Labor Party's worst popularity slump in a century.
Explaining her change of heart on an early election, May said: "I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election".
Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay in the European Union, and the SNP has demanded a fresh referendum on Scottish independence from Britain.
May is to table her motion in the House of Commons for a vote to take place Wednesday for the proposed general election. She has repeatedly said that the decision can not be reversed, and has pursued a hard line against those who have argued for a phased withdrawal or a loose, continued association with the EU.
May's Conservatives, who were split on the issue of European Union membership ahead of last year's referendum, are now far ahead of Labour, the main opposition party, according to opinion polls.
"May wants to show that she has the ultimate power on this and she would like to sail the Brexit ship in a way that she likes to do", said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst with Think Markets.
May said in her shock announcement: "In recent weeks Labour have threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach with the European Union".
A Lancashire MP has welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to call a General Election for June 8.
"Only through the Liberal Democrats is there any pathway for the Conservatives losing their majority", he said.
May had repeatedly denied she would call a snap election before the next planned vote in 2020.
According to the British leader, the only way of assuring stability during the upcoming years is to organize the snap election.
Under Britain's Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the prime minister can call an election if two-thirds of lawmakers vote for it.