May Calls For Early UK Elections As Brexit Looms

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside her official residence of 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday April 18, 2017.

She said parliament would be asked to vote Wednesday to decide on whether or not to hold an election.

Mrs May said she had "only recently and reluctantly" concluded that an election was desirable, and blamed opposition parties and the House of Lords for weakening her negotiating position with the EU.

"As Sikhs across the globe take part in spectacular processions, and neighbourhoods and gurdwaras burst forth with colour, I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the vast contribution British Sikhs make to our country", May said in her Baisakhi message.

May's Conservative Party now holds 330 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons.

Labour's fortunes have plummeted under Jeremy Corbyn and, unusually for the main opposition party, much of their efforts will be focused onto hanging onto seats rather than winning them.

"That is the kind of society and world I want to live in and I think it is the same kind of world that you want to live in as well".

May said this was a one-off chance to get an election done while the European Union was agreeing on its negotiating position.

The guidelines are due to be adopted by the European Council on April 29, paving the way for its chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to begin formal negotiations with Britain at the end of May.

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May, who took office in July after predecessor David Cameron stepped down, could be tempted to go to the polls to secure her own mandate as she negotiates Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.

Theresa May had repeatedly denied that she would call an election before the next scheduled poll in 2020.

"The Prime Minister's attempt to dodge scrutiny shows how she holds the public in contempt", Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said.

May said that if there is not an election soon, "the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most hard stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election".

Sterling climbed to a four-month high against the euro on Tuesday as Theresa May's call for a snap general election prompted speculation that her move will weaken the hand of members of her party pushing for a hard Brexit.

"They underestimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country".

That motion, as set out by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, will require a two-thirds majority of the House of Commons. He says it is a "chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first". But even that basic framework - which spelled out that Britain would leave the EU's single market - caused divisions in her party and involved several rounds of deliberations before a coherent plan could be presented. He said Labour would fight the election promising a fairer society and economy, and "a Brexit that works for all".

And with the Conservatives likely to focus on Jeremy Corbyn's uncertainty over Brexit, seats held by pro-Remain Labour MPs in areas of Yorkshire which voted to leave the European Union could become surprise targets.

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