UK Prime Minister Theresa May is to hold a General Election on 8 June.
With Britain starting the long negotiation process to leave the EU and with Labour in dire position in the polls, it has long been speculated that Mrs May would call an election to shore up her parliamentary position.
The next election was not due until 2020.
However, a poll can be called before then if backed by two-thirds of MPs or if there is a no confidence vote in the Government.
"At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division," Mrs May said in a statement.
"The country is coming together, but Westminster is not. In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the deal we reach with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill. The Scottish National party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union. And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way."
"Our opponents believe that because the government’s majority is so small, our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course. They are wrong. They underestimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country."