UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans to call a snap general election on June 8 — having decided she needs to win support for the Conservative Party’s efforts to move ahead with the UK’s departure from the EU.
There will now be a vote in the UK’s House of Commons on Wednesday on May’s election plan.
May requires two thirds of the UK’s MPs to vote in favour of holding a vote before the next scheduled election date of 2020.
“It was with reluctance that I decided the country needs this election, but it is with strong conviction that I say it is necessary to secure the strong and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond,” May said.
“Every vote for the Conservatives will make it harder for opposition politicians who want to stop me from getting the job done.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “The Tories see a chance to move the UK to the right, force through a hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts. Let’s stand up for Scotland.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.”
Sturgeon described May’s gamble as a “huge political miscalculation” that could help Sturgeon’s efforts to hold a new independence referendum.
“The decision facing the country will be all about leadership,” May said.
“It will be a choice between strong and stable leadership in the national interest with me as your prime minister, or weak and unstable coalition government, led by Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by the Liberal Democrats who want to reopen the division of the referendum.”
May said Labour had threatened to vote against the final Brexit agreement and the Liberal Democrats had said they wanted to “grind the business of government to a standstill.”
She said the Scottish National Party had said it would vote against the legislation to formally repeal the UK’s membership of the EU.
May also said “unelected” members in the House of Lords had said they would “fight us every step of the way.”
May added: “If we don’t hold a general election now, their political game-playing will continue and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run up to the next scheduled election.”