[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text
version below transcribed directly from audio]
I have just chaired a meeting of
the Cabinet, where we agreed that the Government should call a
general election, to be held on the 8th of June.
I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next
and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this
Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European
Union, Britain needed certainty, stability, and strong leadership; and
since I became Prime Minister the Government has delivered precisely
Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, since
the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record
numbers of jobs, and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.
We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed by the
referendum result. Britain is leaving the European Union and there can
be no turning back.
And as we look to the future, the Government has the
right plan for negotiating our new relationship with Europe.
We want a deep and special partnership between a strong and successful
European Union and a United Kingdom that is free to chart its own way in
That means we will regain control of our own money, our own laws, and our
own borders; and we will be free to strike trade deals with old friends
and new partners all around the world.
This is the right approach, and it is in the national interest. But the
other political parties oppose it. At this moment of enormous national
significance, there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead
there is division.
The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.
In recent weeks
Labour have threatened to vote against the final
agreement we reach with the
European Union. The
Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the
business of Government to a standstill.
Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation
that formally repeals Britainís membership of the European Union. And unelected members of the
House of Lords have vowed to fight us every
step of the way.
Our opponents believe, because the Governmentís majority is so
small, that our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change
course. They are wrong.
They under-estimate our determination to get the job done and I am not
prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people
across the country -- because what they are doing jeopardizes the work we
must do to prepare for
Brexit at home, and it weakens the Governmentís
negotiating position in Europe.
If we do not hold a general election now their political game-playing
will continue, and the negotiations with the European Union will reach
their most difficult stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election.
Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of
Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the
So we need a general election and we need one now, because we have at
this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the European Union
agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin.
have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion.
Since I became Prime Minister I have said that there should be no
election until 2020, but now I have concluded that the only way to
guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this
election and seek your support for the decisions I must take. And so
tomorrow I will move a motion in the
House of Commons calling for a
general election to be held on the 8th of June.
That motion, as set out by the
Fixed-Term Parliament[s] Act, will require
a two-thirds majority of the House of Commons. So I have a simple
challenge to the opposition parties: You have criticized the
Governmentís vision for Brexit; you have challenged our objectives; you
have threatened to block the legislation we put before Parliament. This
is your moment to show you mean it, to show you are not opposing the
Government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as
Let us tomorrow vote for an election. Let us put forward our plans for
Brexit and our alternative programs for Government. And then, let the
people decide. And the decision facing the country will be all about
It will be a choice between strong and
stable leadership in the national interest, with me as your Prime
Minister, or weak and unstable coalition Government, led by
Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by the Liberal Democrats, who want to reopen the
divisions of the referendum, and
Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.
Every vote for the
Conservatives will make
it harder for opposition politicians who want to stop me from getting
the job done.
Every vote for the Conservatives will make
me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the Prime Ministers,
Presidents, and Chancellors of the European Union.
Every vote for the Conservatives will mean we
can stick to our plan for a stronger Britain and take the right
long-term decisions for a more secure future.
It was with reluctance that I decided the
country needs this election, but it is with strong conviction that I say
it is necessary to secure the strong and stable leadership the country
needs to see us through Brexit and beyond.
So, tomorrow, let the House of Commons
vote for an election.
Let everybody put forward their proposals for
Brexit and their programs for Government.
And let us remove the risk of
uncertainty and instability and continue to give the country the strong
and stable leadership it demands.