British PM May calls for an early election to strengthen Brexit hand

By Reuters   April 18, 2017 | 02:31 am PT
British PM May calls for an early election to strengthen Brexit hand
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street, in central London. Photo by Reuters/Stefan Wermuth
It was the only way to guarantee political stability for years ahead as Britain negotiates its way out of the European Union.

Prime Minister Theresa May called on Tuesday for an election on June 8, saying Britain's opposition parties risked worsening her negotiating hand in divorce talks with the European Union by opposing her Brexit plan.

"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," she said on the doorstep of her Downing Street office.

May, who was appointed prime minister after the country voted in favor of Brexit in June last year, enjoys a large lead in the opinion polls, with 50 percent saying she would be the best prime minister. The leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, won 14 percent, pollster YouGov said.

But she must first win the support of two-thirds of the parliament for her call for an early election. The main opposition Labour Party has said it is ready for a new election. 

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