British House of Commons dissolved for snap poll

Indo Asian News Service

London, May 3 (IANS) Britain's House of Commons was officially dissolved on Wednesday ahead of the June 8 snap general election called by Prime Minister Theresa May as the country prepares to negotiate its withdrawal from the European Union.

May was set to meet Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace to gain formal approval for the dissolution of the 650-member House of Commons or the lower house, Sky News reported.

Her meeting with the monarch marks the official start of Britain's election campaign, with all seats of the Commons up for grabs. The move means Britain no longer has any elected lawmakers, though the government continues to function.

The Prime Minister will also make a short statement at Number 10 after visiting the Queen.

"The dissolution of Parliament took place on Wednesday 3 May 2017. All business in the House of Commons has come to an end and there are no MPs. Every seat in the Commons is vacant until after the general election on 8 June 2017," the British Parliament said on its website.

But the dissolution does not mean that Britain's government comes to an end.

"Government ministers remain in charge of their departments until after the result of the election is known and a new administration is formed," said a Parliament spokesman.

Under a fixed term law, introduced by former Prime Minister David Cameron, the lower house of Parliament sits for exactly five years which sets a specific timetable for dissolution and a new election.

Current Prime Minister Theresa May used a break-clause in the fixed-term law to call a snap election on June 8, as Britain prepares to negotiate with the European Union on its withdrawal from the bloc.

Britain has triggered a two-year exit process that will see its EU membership end in March 2019.

May said an election now can give the Conservatives a bigger majority, strengthening the government's hand in Brexit negotiations. It also avoids an election soon after Britain leaves the bloc, potentially a period of instability.

--IANS

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