UK prime minister defends decision to seek snap election
Apr 21 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May Wednesday appealed to the public to trust her decision to call for an early general election on June 8, saying the move will strengthen her hand in the complex Brexit negotiations.
May needs two-thirds of parliament to agree to the early polls, and MPs will vote on whether to grant May's wish after deliberations on Wednesday.
Following the election decision, the parliament will be dissolved on May 2.
In a surprise U-turn, May called Tuesday for a general election as she tries to make strong gains against the opposition before the tough Brexit negotiations.
"I want this country to be able to play the strongest hand possible in those negotiations to get the best possible deal because that's in our long-term interests. It's about. getting the right deal from Europe".
For voters in Britain, this snap election will be the third time they've been to the polls in three years.
The prime minister, who will make her first campaign stop in the north-west of England later, is hoping to significantly boost her current Commons majority of 17 to increase her authority, ahead of 18 months of talks which will determine the manner of the UK's exit from the EU.
Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrats leader, told the Commons May is calling an election now because, having looked at the state of Labour, she could not resist the political equivalent of taking candy from a baby.
The European Union, meanwhile, said it will stick to a timetable for preparing to launch Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom despite the earlygeneral election.
He said that the future location of the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the two EU bodies based in London, will not be part of the Brexit talks.
Tusk will chair a summit of the other 27 European Union national leaders in Brussels on April 29, where he expects them to agree negotiating guidelines he has proposed.
The president of the European Commission believes "real" Brexit talks will only start after British snap elections called for June 8, an EU spokesman said on Wednesday.
A still image from a video footage shows Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addressing the House of Commons in central LondonApril 19, 2017.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "We welcome the general election but this is a Prime Minister who promised there wouldn't be one, a Prime Minister who can not be trusted".
"The Prime Minister says we have a stronger economy, yet she can't explain why people's wages are lower today than they were 10 years ago or why more households are in debt, six million people earning less than the minimum wage, child poverty is up, pensioner poverty is up".
Labour's Corbyn made clear he'll focus on May's dramatic decision to reverse her position on an early election as a sign she won't keep her promises.
We also asked which party you would vote for in a General Election.
May ruled out participating in televised debates with other leaders.