Despite previously insisting not to hold a snap general election until 2020 following the five-year scheduled date, May admits that she has “recently and reluctantly” come to this decision in order to ensure certainty and stability through Brexit.
“The country is coming together, but Westminster is not” May explains to support her decision to propose a snap general “this is the right approach and is in the national interest.”
“We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done, while the EU agrees its negotiating position” she continues.
Following the Fixed-term Parliament Act, May needs a two-thirds majority vote in Parliament tomorrow for the election to go ahead which is on track to take place on the 8th June.
In regards to the oppositions, she stated if an election is not held, then their “political game playing will continue and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run up to the next general election” which would be risking “our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country”.
Welcoming other parties, May concluded: “This is your moment to show you mean it – to show you’re not opposing the government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as a game.
“Let’s tomorrow vote for an election. Let’s put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programmes for government and then let the people decide.”
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, tweeted: “This is your chance to change the direction of your country. If you want to avoid a disastrous hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the single market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance.
“Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.”
In support of May’s decision to call for a snap general election, Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn said: “Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.
“In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”
SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon also responded to the announcement and tweeted: “The Tories see a chance to move the UK to the right, force through a hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts. Let’s stand up for Scotland.”