The arms of the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square appear to reach out towards the Big Ben clock tower above the Houses of Parliament in central London, Britain April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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Prime Minister Theresa May won Parliament's backing for an early election Wednesday, a vote she said would strengthen her hand in divorce talks with the EU and help heal divisions in Britain.After addressing a rowdy session of the House of Commons, May won the support of 522 lawmakers in the 650-seat Parliament for an election on June 8 .With May seen winning a new five-year mandate and boosting her majority in Parliament by perhaps 100 seats, the pound held close to six-and-a-half month highs on hopes she may be able to clinch a smoother, more phased departure from the EU and minimize damage to the U.K. economy.May formally notified the European Union on March 29 of Britain's intention to leave.May said Tuesday that she had "reluctantly" come to the decision to call for an early election because of political division in Westminster, criticizing opposition parties for trying to thwart her plans for leaving the EU.
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