British Prime Minister Theresa May is leaving nothing to chance when it comes to laying the foundation for the final stage of the negotiations that will lead to Great Britain’s complete exit from the European Union. On Tuesday, she shocked her supporters and opponents alike by calling for a general election to take place on 8 June of this year. The House of Commons approved the election on Wednesday. May’s goal is to increase the majority for Conservatives in Parliament and allow her to negotiate from a position of strength in talks with the EU over the Brexit process, which are scheduled to begin later in June. The latest round of polls show Conservatives out in front of Labor, the main opposition party, by upwards of 20 points. May’s party is expected to make considerable gains in the June elections and significantly widen the gap between her party and Labor. Right now, Labor’s leader Jeremy Corbyn is fighting for his political life. He appears to have more popularity and appeal with the British public than he does with his own MPs. The snap election will prove if that is the case. In all likelihood, Corbyn will be forced to resign from his position if Labor performs badly in June.
For Prime Minister May, the snap election is a bold move at the right time. Conservatives are primed to increase their majority during the next general election. However, that power can be put to better use right now with the Brexit negotiations underway. May will need every tool she can muster come the final negotiations. A clear-cut majority in Parliament assures her a strong negotiating position. The EU will not find it easy to undermine her or force acceptance of particularly distasteful terms given that after the 8 June election May will not have to worry about facing the electorate for quite some time.