MPs back May's call for snap election

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The Prime Minister tables a Commons motion calling for an election on June 8.

She claimed a large Conservative majority would strengthen the Government's hand in getting a good Brexit deal and provide "strong and stable leadership in the national interest".

Ultimately, the British people decided it wasn't Heath, and Labour's Harold Wilson returned as prime minister.

May required the support of two-thirds of the Commons to pass the motion, and achieved it comfortably with the backing of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs.

May has said a successful election for her would be a vote of confidence in her government's key objectives of establishing more control over the UK's laws, finances and borders.

The snap election announced by Theresa May yesterday, has been approved by MPs.

May became prime minister without winning an election in July previous year following the resignation of David Cameron after millions of Britons went against his advice and voted to leave the EU.

Mr Flanagan said: "This announcement does not change the Government's commitment to ensuring the best possible outcome for Ireland in the upcoming Brexit negotiations where we will negotiate from a position of strength as one of the European Union 27".

Here's the clip in full.

The British prime minister shocked one and all with a surprise announcement Tuesday.

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It's clear that Cooper's words have resonated with May's critics.

Germany's foreign minister has said he hopes that the election will lead to more clarity and predictability in the Brexit negotiations. Opinion polls give them a big lead over the Labour opposition, and May is gambling that an election will deliver her a personal mandate from voters and produce a bigger Conservative majority in Parliament.

In a newspaper interview published Wednesday, she said holding talks with Brussels in the run-up to a 2020 general election could damage London's negotiating position.

Addressing a rowdy parliament, she said moving the election would avoid a clash of priorities in the most sensitive final stages of the two-year talks, ignoring criticism from opposition politicians that she was opportunistic and untrustworthy.

She had also backed the Remain camp in the June 23 referendum, but kept a low profile throughout a polarising campaign.

Theresa May calls for a general election on June 8, saying that the country needs political unity while negotiating the terms of Britain's exit from the EU.

In the last equivalent snap poll, in 1974, then Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath called an election on the question of "Who governs Britain?" while he was battling striking coal miners.

Under the legislation, parliament must be dissolved 25 working days before the election. She changed her mind last week - on a walking holiday with her husband - after "reluctantly" coming to the conclusion that "game-playing" over Brexit among politicians back home would make negotiating with European Union leaders much harder.

Liberal Democrat leader Farron said that broadcasters should hold debates anyway, with an empty chair in May's place.

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