3rd March 2021
Theresa May
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Theresa May to step down as PM on 7 June

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced she will resign, in a move expected to trigger a leadership contest that will bring in a new PM likely to push for a more decisive Brexit divorce deal.

May will resign as Conservative Party leader on 7 June with a leadership contest in the following week.

‘I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist party on Friday, 7 June so that a successor can be chosen,’ May said outside 10 Downing Street on Friday.

May, once a supporter of EU membership, and who came to power in the turmoil that followed the 2016 Brexit referendum, will be stepping down with her central pledge – to lead the UK out of the EU – unfulfilled.

Theresa May
British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during a press conference on Brexit at 10 Downing Street on 15 November 2018. (Matt Dunham / Pool / AFP)

She endured numerous crises and humiliation in her effort to find a Brexit deal that parliament could ratify, and she leaves a deeply divided country and a political deadlock over how, when or whether to leave the EU.

May’s departure will possibly deepen the Brexit crisis as a new leader is likely to want a more decisive split, raising the chances of a confrontation with the European Union, and even a snap general election.

The leading contenders to succeed May all want a tougher divorce deal, although the EU has said it will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Treaty it sealed in November.

ALSO READ: UK Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal – again

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