Prime Minister Theresa May signed her letter of notification to the President of the European Council setting out the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw from the European Union.

Credit: Jay Allen/Number 10/Flickr Creative Commons

Theresa May Hopes To Shore Up Support Ahead Of Brexit Negotiations

April 19, 2017

In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early general election, years ahead of the next scheduled vote in 2020. Parliament has since approved the proposal by a vote of 522 to 13.

May — who previously said she would not call for an early election — explained she was hoping to establish a stronger mandate as the nation heads into negotiations to exit the European Union. Her party currently has a slight majority of 17 seats in Parliament.

"At this moment of enormous national significance, there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division," May said. "The country is coming together, but Westminster is not."

Charles Sennott, executive director of The GroundTruth Project, says a more unified homefront will help May's government during the long coming negotiations over Brexit.

"There's a long, hard slog ahead to execute on the divorce settlement that will pull the United Kingdom away from the European Union," he said. "She feels like she's going to need a mandate to really pull this off. I think that's the logic behind the timing."

Click on the audio player above to hear more from Charles Sennott.

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