Theresa May believes a clear mandate will strengthen her negotiating position
After the Prime Minister announced plans for a snap General Election, she revealed it was a walking holiday with her husband over the Easter break that made up her mind about calling the vote.
Speaking to the Sun, she said: “When I became Prime Minister, I thought the most important thing to do for the country was to have a period of stability.
If we’re negotiating at a point that is quite close to a general election, I think the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us
“But around that time of the invoking of Article 50, it became clear the extent to which there was political game playing and division in Westminster, which would have made it harder for us in negotiating with Europe.
“We want the best possible hand, we want the best possible negotiating position with the European Union.”
She accused anti-Brexit MPs of “trying to stop us every step of the way” and to she called the snap election to avoid difficulties during the later stages of the Brexit process.
The PM believes a coalition led by Corbyn would not be in the country's best interests
Mrs May explained: “It was starting to crystallise just before Philip and I went to Wales.
“But that just gave me an opportunity to think about it very deeply.
“Just before Easter, I had a real opportunity to think this through.
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“It would strengthen our hand if we had a very clear mandate from people.”
The PM also feared that EU chiefs could try to take advantage of instability in Britain if Brexit talks are still ongoing when the next General Election was due to be held, in May 2020.
She said: “If we’re negotiating at a point that is quite close to a general election, I think the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us.
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“Now we will be much freer.”
As Britain looks set to go to the polls just seven weeks time, the Prime Minister said she hopes the Conservative party will be given the chance to “take forward what we’ve started.”
The Tory leader added: “The choice they face is between stable and strong leadership, which I hope they have seen, and a coalition of Corbyn supported by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.
“The crucial thing is what is in the interests of the country to make sure we get the stability and certainty, and leadership we need for the future.”