May’s decision : UK early election
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 16:45:22
(VOVworld) –British Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a snap election on June 8, three years earlier than the British general elections held every 5 years. Her decision is being called a wise move, given division in Parliament which threatens a clean British exit (Brexit)from the EU. It demonstrates May’s confidence in winning the coming election and her resolve to speed up Brexit.
| Theresa May making her statement outside Number 10 (photo: Paul Grover/ The Telegraph)
Prime Minister May cited as the main reason for a snap election that a parliamentary division over Brexit will weaken her position in negotiations with the EU. She feels Britain should have a new government before Brexit negotiations begin. It’s the only way to guarantee certainty and security for the years ahead, May said.
Recent polls show that public support for Prime Minister May is high. Two polls last weekend recorded a 21-point lead for Conservatives over the Labour Party. A poll one week ago showed support for May 37% higher than support for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Many Labour Party supporters are disappointed with Corbyn’s vague stance on Brexit. If the Labour Party opposes the snap election, they could be perceived as going against the public desire for Brexit.
May’s call for a snap election aims to legitimize her position as an elected Prime Minister. One year ago she was appointed to that position after the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron following his Brexit referendum defeat. All of May’s rivals for the top job dropped out, making her Prime Minister by default. Some of her opponents have said she cannot truly represent the UK because Britons never elected her. A snap election would solidify her position and enhance Brexit unity.
The Scotland National Party has asked for a 2nd referendum on independence and secession from the United Kingdom. Prime Minister May hopes to take advantage of the snap election to reduce the number of Scotland National Party representatives in Parliament.
Support from Parliament and the EU
The British House of Commons voted 522 to 13 in favor of a snap election. The European Parliament has also applauded Prime Minister May’s proposal. The EP’s chief Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, said he is prepared to work with a new British government to create the best possible future for Europe. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he hopes a snap election in Britain will lead to more clarity and predictability in negotiations with the European Union. Prolonging the uncertainty doesn’t do the political and economic relations between Britain and the EU any good, Gabriel said.
The Conservative Party’s certain victory will strengthen Prime Minister May and her cabinet in tough Brexit negotiations over the next 2 years.