British PM May to make statement outside Downing Street office

29 2017 Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street on her way to parliament London. Theresa May is due to make an unexpected statement in Downing Street Tuesday

Germany's foreign minister says he hopes Britain's early election will lead to more clarity and predictability in upcoming negotiations on the country's exit from the European Union.

The election will be seen as a key test of support for Theresa May's Brexit strategy with negotiations to begin in earnest with the European Union in the coming months.

MPs must approve decision to dissolve Parliament part-way through full term. She plans to seek a stronger parliamentary mandate in an election June 8. Theresa May likely to substantially increase her slim majority.

Luke Bartholomew, of the investment firm Aberdeen Asset Management, said: "The election should hand Theresa May a much bigger mandate to stand up to the harder line, anti-EU backbenchers which now hold a disproportionate sway over her party's stance on Brexit". "If we do not hold a general election now, their political game playing will continue", she told reporters at Downing Street.

"We need a general election and we need one now" said May, in the shock announcement.

A snap general election is an election called much earlier than expected.

Last month, May triggered the process that began the U.K.'s formal departure from the European Union.

The Conservative party now holds a small majority in the House of Commons, with 330 of its 650 seats.

A round of opinion polls over the Easter weekend also showed her Conservative Party far ahead of the main opposition Labour Party.

Here are four examples of elections called by the government less than four years into their term.

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In her speech she said that she had "only recently and reluctantly came to this conclusion" to hold election and was the "only way to govern with certainty".

A Downing Street spokesman said that May had the full backing of her Cabinet on calling the election and that the Prime Minister had spoken with Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.

The decision was immediately welcomed by the head of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats - which was battered in the 2015 election and now holds just nine seats in the House of Commons - said the election was Britain's chance to change direction.

The party said it had gained 1,000 new members in the hour after May's announcement.

"The Tories see a chance to move the United Kingdom to the right, force through a hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts".

May had taken office in July 2016, after her predecessor David Cameron stepped down, following his failed attempt to get voters to back Britain staying in the EU.

The party with the most lawmakers wins a working majority and is allowed to install its leader as prime minister and implement its manifesto promises.

Negotiations to leave the European Union will be arduous.

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