UK prime minister defends decision to seek snap election

UK Prime Minister Theresa May's shock announcement to call a General Election for June 8 in an attempt to solidify her grip on power amidst the turmoil of upcoming Brexit negotiations has only served to further hinder the country's green economy and policy moves, an unintended outcome which will create policy and investment uncertainty for months to come.

Last month, May formally triggered the two-year procedure for leaving the European Union, setting a March 2019 deadline for departure.

The former interior minister, who became prime minister without an election when her predecessor David Cameron quit after last year's referendum vote for Brexit, enjoys a runaway lead over the main opposition Labour Party in opinion polls.

With the Prime Minister needing the support of 434 MPs - two thirds of all seats in the House of Commons - some 522 voted for the early election, with just 13 against.

May wasted no time, going from the vote in Parliament to kick off her campaign with a speech in to supporters northwestern England.

Mrs May, addressing voters as she stood surrounded by party activists and supporters, said: "Only you can give us the mandate, so vote for a strong and stable leadership in this country".

"This election is about her government's failure to rebuild the economy and living standards for the majority", Corbyn said, as he tried to shift the focus away from Brexit.

"That would be in nobody's interest", May said.

Now that lawmakers have approved the election, Parliament will be dissolved at midnight on May 2, 25 working days before election day.

Despite Corbyn's bravado, his party is demoralized and divided under his left-wing leadership and is expected to fare badly.

May's Conservatives now hold 330 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons.




Granted, the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, does not look particularly prime ministerial. Much could depend on whether a bigger majority leaves May less dependent on hardliners in her Conservative party.

Under current legislation, parliaments have to sit for five years before new elections take place.

"It's the right decision, it's in the national interest, and that's what this election is about".

Britain is now gearing up for its third general election in seven years, which comes less than a year after the divisive referendum that decided the United Kingdom would withdraw from the EU.

But her decision also opens the door to more uncertainty in the region, as it now puts Europe's three most powerful nations - Britain, Germany and France - into full-throttle election mode. The leaders of the 27 remaining European Union countries will meet on April 29 to agree the bloc's negotiating position, which will then be translated into a legal text by the European Union commission in May.

Juncker's spokesman said the election would not delay the start of negotiations, which the Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has previously said would start in early June.

And at PMQs in the Commons, he told her: "She says it's about leadership, yet is refusing to defend her record in television debates and it's not hard to see why".

An official statement from the broadcaster said: "ITV will hold a leaders' debate as we did in 2010 and 2015". "There should be no general election until 2020".

"The prime minister's attempt to dodge scrutiny shows how she holds the public in contempt", he said.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said the upcoming general election would give voters a "significant and historic choice".

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