Brexit talks to start after UK vote in June

A still image from a video footage shows Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addressing the House of Commons in central London

"If we do not hold a general election now, their political game playing will continue", she told reporters at Downing Street.

Angus Robertson, leader of the SNP in Westminster, said May had changed her mind because she now realised the Brexit discussions were going to be much harder than Eurosceptics had imagined.

Several MPs across parties announced their decision not to contest the election, including former chancellor George Osborne, recently appointed editor of the mass circulation Evening Standard.

British lawmakers yesterday overwhelmingly backed Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap election, paving the way for a June vote that she hopes will give her a "mandate to complete Brexit".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Wednesday: "We have an interest ... in predictability and reliability, because we want to get this process done in the prescribed period of time and above all because we don't need upheaval in this negotiating process - either at the beginning or the end".

When asked who would make the best prime minister, more than half of the respondents (54 percent) chose May, with just 15 percent favoring Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

"Britain is leaving the European Union and there can be no turning back", asserted the British PM.

The next general election wasn't due until 2020, one year after Brexit talks are scheduled to conclude.

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Owen Paterson, who represents North Shropshire, said he had supported the vote because a general election victory would strengthen Theresa May's hand in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

"A general election will provide the country with five years of strong and stable leadership to see us through the negotiations and ensure we are able to go on to make a success as a result, and that is crucial".

The broad contours of the electoral debate likely to unfold in coming months began to emerge during Prime Minister's Questions and the debate held just ahead of the vote, as leaders and significant figures across the political spectrum sought to clarify their views.

However, the unexpected elections might delay the beginning of the talks, which European Union officials said could begin as early as May. However, the figures appear to contradict her statement: some three quarters of MPs and two thirds of the Lords voted for Article 50.

"That's what this is about, it's about asking the people to trust me, to trust us in government, to give us that mandate to go and get that really good deal for the United Kingdom".

It reflects the highest level of support the Conservatives have enjoyed in nine years - up four per cent from a poll carried out last week before the surprise announcement of the election.

"It's about asking the people to trust me, to trust us in government, to give us that mandate to go and get that really good deal", May told the BBC on Wednesday. It was her first face-to-face clash with her main rival for power, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, since she stunned the country by calling for a snap election today.