Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

British Parliament Backs May's Plan for June 8 Snap Election

British Parliament Backs May's Plan for June 8 Snap Election

Prime Minister Theresa May has called for an election on June 8, saying she needed to strengthen her hand in divorce talks with the European Union by shoring up support for her Brexit plan.

With Mrs May 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.

Now that lawmakers have approved the election, Parliament will be dissolved at midnight on May 2, 25 working days before election day. "Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger", she said-a clunky line that made her sound like a crazed comic-book villain.

A national election in May 2015 was followed by the June 2016 referendum on European Union membership.

However, it is likely to take a few days, assuming victory on June 8, for May to confirm her negotiating team; it is now led by Brexit Secretary David Davis, who unlike May is a long-time opponent of Britain's membership of the Union.

The spokesman noted that this did not mean there will be a delay in Brexit talks, "because negotiations were meant to start in June regardless of the United Kingdom government's decision to call an election on the 8th.".

May said she will "fight for every vote" in the election, saying the mandate a victory would hand her would give her the "strongest hand" in European Union withdrawal talks and make it hard for people to "frustrate" the process.

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.

But Mr Corbyn dismissed her argument that she needs a fresh mandate to deliver Brexit, and said it was "extremely interesting" that she had chosen to call an election as the Crown Prosecution Service prepares to decide whether to press charges against a string of Tory MPs over allegations relating to 2015 general election expenses.

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.

"When you are trying to say "I speak for Britain", you've got to get out there and listen to what Britain says back to you and argue your case".

Opinion polls suggest May's Conservatives are enjoying a huge lead over Labour.

"We won't be doing television debates", she said on Wednesday.

The few MPs who voted against a general election were mostly Labour rebels, including Clive Lewis, Liz McInnes, and Dennis Skinner.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn threw down the gauntlet to the Prime Minister to agree to televised debates, which he said were "what democracy needs and what the British people deserve".

Two of Britain's biggest broadcasters are set to defy Theresa May's threat to boycott TV election debates - by going ahead with them anyway.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter said they would vote Conservative, less than five per cent said Liberal Democrat, and perhaps most strikingly Labour finished in fourth place with less than four per cent.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron added: "The prime minister's attempt to dodge scrutiny shows how she holds the public in contempt".

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