Theresa May calls snap UK election

London, The British Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap election for June 8, to strengthen the country’s position as it negotiates to leave the European Union (EU).

The Parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly backed her move when MPs voted 522 in favour and 13 against to hold an election now instead of 2020 under the 2011 Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

The last election was held in 2015, but this five-year fixed term of parliament was overturned after more than two-thirds of MPs voted in favour of an early poll.

Mrs May, writing exclusively in Conservative-supporting The Daily Telegraph, explained why she had called the election after ruling out a snap poll several times since she came to power last year.

She said a strong leadership was needed during the negotiations for Britain’s exit (Brexit) from the EU, and that there was also a need to stop MPs and members of the House of Lords from presenting obstacles in the way of the separation talks.

Mrs May wrote: Securing the right deal for Britain is my priority, but the divisions in Westminster [the seat of MPs and Lords], and the government’s small majority, risk undermining our position as the negotiations go on.

For a while the country is increasingly united, Westminster remains divided.

The opposition parties believe though � wrongly � that because the government’s majority is so small, our resolve will weaken and they can force us to change course.

Later, Mrs May told Parliament that there was now a window of opportunity to have an election before the Brexit negotiations � which were triggered at the end of March � and got into full swing in June.

But during the debate, some MPs accused Mrs May of being opportunistic, saying that she was using Brexit as an excuse to hold an election at a time when the main opposition party, Labour, appeared to be in disarray.

The Conservatives currently hold a majority of 17 in the 650-member House of Commons, and already pollsters are suggesting that Mrs May’s party could get a 100-seat majority at the June 8 election.

MPs also accused her of ignoring other pressing socio-economic issues while focusing on Brexit.

Experts say that Mrs May’s decision could well be down to the fact that she wants to establish her own authority, free from her predecessor’s, David Cameron.

But the experts also noted that she could be taking a gamble, pointing to the Brexit referendum, which was called by Mr Cameron last year and which he lost, forcing him to resign.

Source: Ghana News Agency