British MPs to vote on Theresa May's general election plan

Two-thirds of MPs need to back the call for an election, and opposition parties have already welcomed the plan

British MPs to vote on Theresa May's general election plan

A silhouette of the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower at dusk, in Westminster, London. Picture by: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

British MPs are expected to back Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for a snap general election on June 8th in a House of Commons vote this afternoon.

It comes just a day after Mrs May's shock announcement yesterday, in which she argued it was the only way to secure stability ahead of Brexit.

Under the UK's fixed-term parliament rules, introduced under the last coalition government, the next election was not due until 2020.

However, a poll can be called before then if backed by two thirds of MPs or if there is a no confidence vote in the government.

Mrs May said she was concerned that opposition parties would seek to derail Brexit by voting against key pieces of legislation.

Speaking on BBC Radio this morning, Mrs May said: "I genuinely came to this decision reluctantly having looked at the circumstances and having looked ahead at the process of negotiation.

"I want this country to be able to play the strongest hand possible in those negotiations and be in a position to get the best possible deal."

She insisted the election is not a repeat of last year's Brexit referendum, insisting there is 'no turning back' on that result.

Both the UK's Labour party and Liberal Democrats have officially welcomed the early poll.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the early election will give voters the chance "to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first", while Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the election provided an opportunity to block "a disastrous hard Brexit".

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the election call as "a huge political miscalculation by the Prime Minister".

Mrs May has ruled out taking part in TV debates as part of the election campaign, telling BBC she believed in "getting out and about and meeting voters" and "knocking on doors".