UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called for general elections in the UK in a bid to have a united front during Brexit negotiations.
Mrs. May made the announcement at Number 10 Downing Street, where she claimed that the divisions at Westminster risked hampering the Brexit negotiations. The PM has a fragile working majority of just 17 in the House of Commons. She added that she would go to Parliament to ask for the national vote.
“I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet, where we agreed that the Government should call a general election, to be held on June 8.”
She explained that the call for the general elections in the UK was arrived at recently even though the idea had been floated around by the press. She emphasized on the need for a strong government before going further with Brexit negotiations with the EU.
“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. Because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done, while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin.”
It has emerged that May had already phoned the Queen yesterday to inform her of her intention to hold the elections. The PM will now require the support of two-thirds of MPs in the Commons, with a vote scheduled for Wednesday.
“Our opponents believe because the Government’s majority is so small that our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change. 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 because what they are doing jeopardizes the work we must do to prepare for Brexit at home and it weakens the Government’s negotiating position in Europe.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed May’s calls for general elections in the UK. He said it will “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.”
Former Prime Minister David Cameron also hailed what he called a “brave and right” decision by Mrs. May. He went on to wish all Conservative candidates well.