Europe

The Latest: German EU lawmaker hopes for compromise with UK

  • A silhouette of the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower containing Big Ben, centre, at dusk, in Westminster, London, Tuesday April 18, 2017. Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced Tuesday a snap general election to be held on June 8. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)

    A silhouette of the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower containing Big Ben, centre, at dusk, in Westminster, London, Tuesday April 18, 2017. Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced Tuesday a snap general election to be held on June 8. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a meeting about social care in Birmingham central England Tuesday April 18, 2017.  In a shock announcement, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday called for an early general election to be held June 8 to seek a strong mandate as she negotiates Britain's exit from the European Union. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

    Britain's Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a meeting about social care in Birmingham central England Tuesday April 18, 2017.  In a shock announcement, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday called for an early general election to be held June 8 to seek a strong mandate as she negotiates Britain's exit from the European Union. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday April 18, 2017.  May has called for a snap June 8 General Election, seeking to strengthen her hand in ongoing European Union exit talks and tighten her grip on a fractious Conservative Party.  (Philip Toscano/PA via AP)

    Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday April 18, 2017. May has called for a snap June 8 General Election, seeking to strengthen her hand in ongoing European Union exit talks and tighten her grip on a fractious Conservative Party. (Philip Toscano/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the British prime minister's decision to seek an early election (all times local):

9:55 a.m.

A senior European Parliament lawmaker says he hopes that British Prime Minister Theresa May, if strengthened by an election, will show readiness to compromise in Brexit talks.

Elmar Brok, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats, told Germany's ARD television Wednesday that May could derive from a new, stronger mandate an "ability to compromise."

Brok said that could help "so that we can conduct the negotiations professionally in the next 1 ½ years to reach a sensible result that reduces the damage."

He added: "She could also become more unbending; we don't know. I hope the former will be the case."

Brok said he expects May to win a parliamentary majority, but it's unclear how big. He added: "If it isn't a triumphant success, it will be to some extent a personal failure."

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9:50 a.m.

Britain's prime minister has defended her decision to seek a snap election.

Theresa May told the BBC in an interview on Wednesday that an early election is in the national interest because it will strengthen the country's position in negotiations to leave the European Union.

May said that opponents were intent on "frustrating the Brexit process," even after Parliament authorized talks with the EU.

She said that "Brexit isn't just about the letter that says we want to leave. It's about ... getting the right deal from Europe."

Parliament will vote Wednesday on holding a June 8 election. Elections are currently set for 2020, just a year after the scheduled completion of Brexit talks. An early ballot will give the next leader more time to implement Brexit before another election.