UK prime minister defends decision to seek snap election

Apr 20, 2017, 08:47

British voters will be heading to polling stations for the third time since 2015, after lawmakers overwhelmingly backed Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap election on June 8.

The main opposition Labour Party welcomed May's election call, meaning that it is nearly a foregone conclusion that May will obtain the two thirds support she needs in the House of Commons for the election to be held.

While Mrs May reaffirmed her commitment to give Parliament a vote on any deal with the European Union she flatly ruled out a second referendum.

May will be going into the election holding 330 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, with a working majority of 17.

Ms May formally notified the European Union on March 29 of Britain's intention to leave, and said she was confident of reaching a deal on the terms of withdrawal in the two years available.

"This is a Prime Minister who promised that there wouldn't be one".

The move is expected to receive the two-thirds majority it requires for May to overturn the UK's Fixed Term Parliaments Act, which would have seen an election being held only in 2020.

She will likely get it, since Labour has welcomed the early election.

During a special debate in theHouse of Commons, she said it was the "right and responsible" thing to do hold the election now to provide "five years of stability and certainty" and help the United Kingdom prepare for life outside the EU.

Brok said that could help "so that we can conduct the negotiations professionally in the next 1 ½ years to reach a sensible result that reduces the damage". "It is about the crisis her government has plunged the NHS into, the cuts to to our children's schools which will limit chances of children, 4 million of whom live in poverty, a chance of an alternative to raise living standards, as more and more people do not have security in their work or over their housing".

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But May, who had repeatedly ruled out the possibility of an early election, has faced criticism for the sudden reversal.

Prime Minister Theresa May chided opposition leaders for trying to join hands, and insisted she and her Conservative Party alone could get the best Brexit deal for Britain.

"What do we know that the leader of the Labour Party, the leader of the Liberal Democrats and the leader of the Scottish nationalists have in common?" she asked Parliament on Wednesday (local time). The survey showed the Tories on 44% with Labour trailing on just 23%.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron says only his party can stop Theresa May winning the election.

SNP MPs abstained on the vote.

Lawmakers are due to vote on the motion calling for a June 8 election after a 90-minute debate Wednesday. "We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain".

He said May simply sensed the chance to secure a majority of 100 MPs or more.

"We won't be doing television debates", May said, adding that politicians should spend election campaigns "out and about" meeting voters.

"She expects a coronation and not a contest".

He will vow to "prove the Establishment experts wrong and change the direction of this election".