Juncker: Brexit talks will begin after 8 June election

Theresa May is facing a crisis just 24 hours after announcing the general election

British Prime Minister Theresa May has secured a surprise election to take place in just seven weeks' time.

But Mr Corbyn dismissed her argument that she needs a fresh mandate to deliver Brexit, and said it was "extremely interesting" that she had chosen to call an election as the Crown Prosecution Service prepares to decide whether to press charges against a string of Tory MPs over allegations relating to 2015 general election expenses. A Monday YouGov poll had Conservative Party at 44 percent support, with the opposition Labour party at just 23 percent, its lowest rating since June 2009.

TRT World'sSarah Morice brings more from London.

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.

May has repeatedly said since becoming the Prime Minister in July that she would not hold an early general election.

Britain is now gearing up for its third general election in seven years, which comes less than a year after the divisive referendum that decided the United Kingdom would withdraw from the EU.

The snap vote is the latest twist in a turbulent year in British politics, which was plunged into turmoil when the country unexpectedly voted to leave the European Union last year.

Candidates will fight elections in 650 seats across the country, and either Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn is expected to be Prime Minister after the election.

May told The Sun newspaper that if Britain were still negotiating with the bloc in the run-up to a national election, "the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us".

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"Division in Westminster", she said, "will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country".

Thirteen voted against the motion.

"This will allow the EU27 to start negotiations", Preben Aamann, spokesman for Donald Tusk, president of the European Council of member states, said on Tuesday.

May enjoys a runaway lead in opinion polls over the main opposition Labour Party, and the British economy has so far defied predictions of a slowdown, offering her a strong base to launch a poll some lawmakers described as "opportunistic". "We must set that process in motion, there is no turning back".

As the debate began, former chancellor George Osborne - who has recently been appointed editor of the London Evening Standard - announced he would not be standing for election on June 8. The election gives the British people the chance to change direction.

"We are in the midst of Brexit negotiations so this election will provide a flawless opportunity for the 52% to vote for UKIP the only party wholeheartedly committed to a clean quick and efficient Brexit".

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says that's not the case.

May, 60, had stunned her allies as well as opponents when she called for a snap poll yesterday. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May has called for an early general election for June 8 to seek a strong mandate as she negotiates Britain's exit from the European Union.

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