The surprise announcement — made outside her office at 10 Downing Street —
“I have concluded the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I have to make,” she said.
The move comes amid political strains over Brexit and moves by Scotland to possible carve its own independent path to remain in the European Union.
Last month, Britain submitted its formal request to begin E.U. exit negotiations.
Theresa May became prime minister in July last year, shortly after the referendum that set in motion Britain’s E.U. divorce and prompted the resignation of her predecessor, David Cameron.
May also is taking a political gambit.