The prime minister has announced an early General Election in order to ‘unify Westminster’ ahead of Brexit negotiations.
Theresa May made the surprise announcement outside Downing Street this morning. She said she would introduce a motion to the Commons tomorrow proposing an election on 8 June.
Mrs May insisted the Government had a plan for Brexit, but said the other parties and the House of Lords are opposed it.
‘At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not,’ she said.
‘In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of Government to a standstill.
‘The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union. And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.’
Mrs May has previously ruled out calling an early election on numerous occasions. She said this was because the country needed stability – which the Government claims it has delivered.
‘Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership, and since I became Prime Minister the Government has delivered precisely that,’ Mrs May said.
Responding to the sudden announcement, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he welcomed the prospect of a General Election.
‘I welcome the prime minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a Government that will put the interests of the majority first,’ he 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.’
The Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said this election would be a ‘chance to change the direction of our 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.”
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