Why the UK Prime Minister called for early elections

Why the UK Prime Minister called for early elections

Election surprise

Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party Theresa may in a pre-unplanned address to the citizens announced the holding of early parliamentary elections on 8 June. Stable Parliament and strong government is needed to complete the process of a British exit from the EU (Brexit), she explained. Mei plans on April 19 to send to the Parliament a bill on early elections, its adoption required the support of two thirds of Parliament.

“Britain leaving the European Union, and there’s no turning back <…> We get control over its currency, laws, borders and will be free to enter into transactions with old friends and new partners,” — said the Prime Minister. However, according to the former leader of the conservatives, this “correct approach” is opposed by other parties in Parliament. According to the Prime Minister, the opposition labour party promises to block the final agreement with the EU on leaving the UK, the liberal Democrats are trying to paralyze the work of the lower house, and the Scottish national party is opposed to all around what the government is doing.

Previous parliamentary elections were held in 2015. For them, the conservatives gained 36.8 per cent, and their traditional rival labour party — 30,5%. The next election was to be held in 2020. Theresa may, after took over as Prime Minister in July 2016, has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of early elections. That is why the announcement of early elections was a surprise, said Professor of political science at the University of Kent Richard Sakwa. The decision to hold elections ahead of schedule due to the fact that the labour party is losing ground and the Prime Minister wants to take advantage of the current political advantage, says Sakwa. Given that the House of Commons, the advantage of the conservatives is small and in the upper House of lords a position of weakness, the British Prime Minister needs a strong rear guard, explains the motivation may leading researcher of the Centre for British studies, Institute of Europe, RAS Elena Ananyeva.

“Another reason for early elections is that they do not coincide with the final negotiations on the UK’s exit from EU, Brexit today defines the whole British policy,” says Sakwa.

Positions of the parties

The leader of the labour party Jeremy Corbyn said on April 18 that his party supported holding elections in 2017. Voting will give voters the chance to vote for a government that puts the interests of the majority above all, his statement quoted by Bi-bi-si. Supported the elections and the leader of the liberal Democrat party Tim Farron. “If you want to avoid a catastrophic Brexit; if you want to keep the UK in the single market (EU); if you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and unified, this is your chance”, — quotes its words of the British newspaper the Guardian.

The conservatives lead in the polls. 44% of respondents sociological service YouGov/Times stated willingness to vote for the conservatives if elections were held next weekend, according to a survey conducted on April 12-13. Labour are willing to vote to 23% for the liberal Democrats — 12%, for the right-conservative Party United Kingdom independence (UKIP) — 10%. Half of the respondents believe that Teresa may the best Prime Minister, labour leader Corbin so ready to accept and 14%.

The polls say in favor of the current Prime Minister and her party, but in recent years sociologists give erroneous forecasts, so that to eliminate of surprise is impossible, says sakva.

Impact on Brexit

Mei said that after the elections hoped to get in Parliament a solid majority, which will support the government in the negotiations with the European Union on Brexit. The official process of the British exit from the EU was launched on 29 March. Negotiations about conditions of withdrawal can last up to two years. According to article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the participation of emerging countries in the common EU treaties automatically expire exactly two years after the filing of the notification of withdrawal, therefore, the UK should leave the European Union no later than 29 March 2019. May the appeal on April 17 reiterated that waiver of a withdrawal from the European Union will not.

The participants of the rally against Brexit

Photo: Neil Hall / AP

“The hope is that Brexit could be canceled, completely unfounded. For the first time the Prime Minister showed a pragmatic devotion to the Tory idea of a Brexit” — commented the decision of the British Prime Minister the President of the international Committee of the German Parliament Norbert röttgen.

“The likelihood that everything will not go according to plan, and opponents Brexit will strengthen its position, of course, exist, but this will change little in a running process”, — says Ivan Tsvetkov, an associate Professor of the faculty of international relations, St. Petersburg state University (SPbSU). At this stage, the course of Brexit depends more on negotiations between the EU and London than from the balance of forces in the British Parliament, for may election — it’s a chance to feel more confident with little risk of losing something significant, says Flowers. The procedure of exit from the EU will continue, but in the negotiations there are various surprises, made of Flowers.

The increase in the number of MPs-conservatives in Parliament will give the Prime Minister more room for manoeuvre in the negotiations, will allow it to hold a version of the “hard” Brexit, that is, more control over the borders and the development of relations with the EU by the General rules of the world trade organization, writes Bloomberg. “The talks [are] unprecedented, complex and ambitious”, says Sakwa. According to experts, the main negotiations should be completed by mid-2018, leaving time for ratification of the agreement between the EU and the 27 members of the national parliaments on the one hand, and the Parliament of great Britain on the other.

The decision may is a competent tactic, but it can be risky and counterproductive consequences, as not all members of the Conservative party supported Brexit, warns the managing partner at the law firm Conner & Company Luke Conner.

That may hold elections ahead of schedule, to increase the number of their supporters in Parliament and to hold a version of the “hard” out of the EU, the Prime Minister accused the leader of the Scottish national party, first Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. The Prime Minister’s decision reinforces the intent of Edinburgh “to determine their own future,” said Sturgeon. March 28, the day before the signing of the notification of the start of the process Brexit, the Scottish Parliament voted to hold a second referendum on independence in the period between autumn 2018 and spring 2019. From your intentions of the government of Scotland did not refuse.