By: Laura Steiner
British Prime Minister Theresa May has called a general election for June 8, 2017. May says she’s calling it in the name of stability follow Brexit. “The country is coming together, but Westminster is not,” she said according to the BBC.
The BBC speculates the real reason is timing. According to fixed election legislation the next general election isn’t scheduled until 2020. The Brexit process, triggered by Article 50 will end in March, 2019. The fear is that opens up negotiations to hardball from the EU because they wouldn’t accept anything politically unpopular or hold the process up to the start of an election cycle.
It represents a change in direction for May. “I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead is to hold this election, she said.” May had previously said she would not call an election. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomes the decision, saying it’s a chance to “put the majority first.”
May’s election decision had to go a vote in the House of Commons. MP’s voted 522-13 in favour of an election. May reportedly spoke with the Queen Monday regarding her decision.
Corbyn Accuses May of “dodging” him with Debate Refusal
May has announced she will not take part in televised leaders’ debates. Corbyn accused her of avoiding a head-to-head battle. “Elections and democracy are about public debate. So it’s rather strange that only a couple of hours after calling for a general election, the Prime Minister is saying she’s not going to take part in TV Debates,” he said in media reports.
Televised debates have taken place during the 2010, and 2015 elections using various formats. Corbyn is urging broadcasters to put an empty chair in May’s place. “I believe in campaigns where politicians get out and meet the voters,” she said in a BBC interview Voting day is June 8, 2017.