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May wins House of Commons backing for snap general election

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-20 09:13

May wins House of Commons backing for snap general election

A still image from a video footage shows Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addressing the House of Commons in central London, April 19, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - Members of Parliament (MPs) in the British House of Commons gave their backing Wednesday to Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap general election on June 8.

MPs voted by 522 votes to 13 to support the election which May sees as a mandate for her strategy for Britain leaving the European Union (EU).

As the measure does not need approval from the House of Lords, the process of dissolving parliament next month in advance of the election will get underway.

Under current legislation, parliaments have to sit for five years before new elections take place. A two-thirds majority of MPs must agree to a move that will shorten the lifespan of a parliament. As the last general election took place just two years ago, the vote was crucial for May.

She passed the required minimum needed of 434 MPs in support, after opposition MPs, mainly from Labor and the Liberal Democrats, voted in favor of an election.

May has already won approval from Queen Elizabeth for the snap election.

MPs, the PM said, have a window of opportunity to hold a general election before negotiations with the EU begin. May added that securing the "right deal" with Brussels for Britain is her priority.

Downing Street said the June election will not affect May's Brexit timetable.

May told MPs the upcoming snap election will be about leadership and stability, saying: "I will be asking for the public's support to deliver my plan for a stronger Britain. The choice before us is clear: to trust the people and then let the public decide."

She said a general election will provide Britain with five years of strong and stable leadership to see the country through its negotiations with the EU to make sure "we are able to make a success of the EU referendum result."

"Britain is leaving the EU and there can be no turning back," asserted the British PM.

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