United Kingdom lawmakers approve PM's call for early election

She said: "I will be taking out to the country in this campaign a proud record of a Conservative Government".

"I will be asking the British people for a mandate to complete Brexit and to make a success of it", the Conservative leader said, to cheers from her lawmakers sitting behind her.

She is seeking to increase her slim majority of 17 in the 650-seat Commons before the battles begin with the European Union over Britain's exit bill and future trade and immigration ties.

Britain's prime minister has defended her decision to seek a snap election.

During the weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, May accused opposition MPs of trying to thwart the Brexit process.

The opposition Labour Party and Liberal Democrats welcomed the chance to put their policies to voters, though the Scottish National Party called the election a cynical political ploy.

May said it was "only recently and reluctantly" that she had chose to call for a snap election, rather than serve a fixed term until 2020 under what is a slim Tory majority.

With Mrs May needing the support of 434 MPs - two thirds of all seats in the House of Commons - some 522 voted for the early election, with just 13 against.

A spokesman for Mrs May said the British government was aiming to dissolve parliament on May 3rd - 25 working days before election day.

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Parliament will vote Wednesday on holding a June 8 election.

By contrast Labour is wracked by divisions, over Brexit and Corbyn's left-wing leadership, which is opposed by many of his more centrist MPs. Polls give the Conservatives a double-digit lead over Labour, and May is gambling that an election will deliver her a personal mandate from voters and produce a bigger Conservative majority.

May, who has described herself as "not a showy politician", also said she would not take part in television debates before the election, preferring to talk directly to voters. "It's about. getting the right deal from Europe", she said.

May stunned the country on Tuesday when she announced plans to call a snap election on June 8 - despite having repeatedly said she would wait until the next vote scheduled in 2020.

"Following their conversation, the president considers that the real political negotiations on Article 50 with the United Kingdom will start after the elections foreseen for the 8th of June", the spokesman said, referring to the European Union treaty rule that regulates the exit of a member state from the bloc.

One broadcaster, ITV, said it planned to hold a debate with or without the prime minister.

Tusk issued a set of draft guidelines late last month rejecting May's call for talks on the terms of the divorce bill and on a future trade deal in parallel during the two years of negotiations ahead of Britain's exit in March 2019.

On the issue of TV debates, Robertson asked: "Can the prime minister tell the people why she's running scared of a televised debate with Nicola Sturgeon?"

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