"We agreed that the government should call a general election, to be held on 8 June."
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the government will plan a new general election. The government intend for the ‘snap election’ to take place on 8th June 2017.
She made the surprise announcement at 10 Downing Street on the morning of 18th April 2017. It comes as the latest development surrounding “Brexit”. Theresa May believes it will aid the country’s position with the European Union.
The UK government announced that Theresa May would make a speech outside Downing Street in the morning.
With no clue as to the contents of the speech, speculations had arisen to what May would say. Press deliberated whether she would step down from her role or call for a new election.
Theresa May said: “I have just chaired a meeting of the cabinet, where we agreed that the government should call a general election, to be held on 8 June.
“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.
“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.”
The Prime Minister then explained the reasons for the decision. She claimed that amidst all the “Brexit” debates, conflicts with other political parties created problems for the UK. She claimed: “[It] jeopardises the work we must do to prepare for Brexit at home and it weakens the government’s negotiating position in Europe.”
Theresa May went on to state:
“We need a general election and we need one now, because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin.”
What do British-Asians think about the proposed General Election?
DESIblitz asked British-Asians about their reactions to the announcement. Most felt relatively surprised by the decision. 25-year-old Amna described it as “an unexpected move from the [Prime Minister].
“The problem is that many of us are still unsure how we feel about Brexit, and now it’s almost as though the public are being put under duress to make a quick decision about who they want to lead the country. People don’t really like being toyed around with in such a way.
“And with Labour in a bit of a mess, it’s likely that May will get a high number of votes. On the other hand, May actually being elected could also give the UK the stability it needs to see it out of the EU effectively.”
Many also believe that Theresa May may be crafting a well-thought plan which seeks to suit her own party interests. 28-year-old Ehsan (a Labour supporter) deemed it as “opportunistic”.
He added: “It messes up the negotiation for “Brexit” which is more important. It diverts attention from that when it is needed the most.
“Also, it is a massive U-turn on her part as she said not long ago she wouldn’t call a snap election.”
Others also shared similar views, believing Theresa May wants to take advantage of Labour’s low popularity. In addition, they feel it gives her the approval to “do whatever she wants with Brexit”.
Another young British Asian, Sam, also pointed out: “It’s a way for the people to feel as if they have some control within their government.
“Since Brexit, despite who voted what, the majority have felt almost betrayed by the change. It’s an opportunity to allow the general public to cast their vote onto something they feel more a part of.”
With the announcement marked as the next twist in the “Brexit” saga, many will await to hear what happens next. And whether this snap general election on 8th June 2017 does indeed happen.