International Finance

UK PM Theresa May announces early elections

General elections will be held on June 8, she announced after chairing a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday

UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced general elections on June 8 after chairing a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday.

Addressing mediapersons, she said, “I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote.”

She said that the decision was prompted by divisions in the political establishment. She stated that her government had provided the certainty, stability and strong leadership that was required after the UK voted to break away from the European Union last July.

“Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations. We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed by the referendum result. Britain is leaving the European Union and there can be no turning back.”

However, the House of Lords is expected to prove a stumbling block to the government’s efforts to negotiate separation from the EU.

Up north, Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for an independence referendum after Britain voted to leave the EU. The Scottish leader expects the referendum to take place sometime between fall next year and spring 2019. As of now, Scotland voted 62% to 38% to remain in Europe, but would be forced to leave the EU as it is a part of the UK.

May said that ‘the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take’.

The opposition is expected to go with the PM’s decision to call for a snap poll.

Responding to the announcement, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said, “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.”

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