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Last Updated : May 24, 2019 05:07 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Brexit impasse: Theresa May resigns effective June 7; process to elect new PM to begin in a few weeks

May's term as UK PM has been crisis-driven as her Brexit plans were rejected three times by UK Parliament, and was due for another vote in June

Jocelyn Fernandes @scribeJocelyn

British Prime Minister Theresa May has resigned from office with effect from June 7. The process to elect a new prime minister will begin in a few weeks.

Quoting Nicholas Winton that 'compromise is not a dirty word', the 62-year-old May expressed regret that she could not 'deliver Brexit'.

Addressing media persons, May said, “Our politics may be under strain but there is so much that is good about this country. So, much to be proud and optimistic about. I will shortly leave the job and it has been the honour of my life. The second female prime minister but certainly not the last. I do so with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love. I know that the Conservative Party can renew itself in the years ahead. That we can deliver Brexit and serve the British people with policies inspired by our values.”

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May's term as UK PM has been crisis-driven as her Brexit plans were rejected three times by UK Parliament, and was due for another vote in June. The disagreements arose after she was accused of bending to pro-EU demands over the border status of Northern Ireland.

Calls for her ouster gained momentum after her final Brexit gambit fell through on May 22. She had made an offer a vote on a second referendum and closer trading arrangements failed to win over either opposition lawmakers or many in her own party.

“I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal. Sadly I have not been able to do so. I tried three times. I believe it was right to persevere even when the odds against success seemed high. But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort,” she said.

Nearly three years since Britain voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union, May was trying one last time to get her divorce deal approved by the British parliament before her crisis-riven premiership ends. She had appealed to lawmakers get behind her, offering the prospect of a possible second referendum on the agreement and closer trading arrangements with the EU as incentives to what she called the only way to prevent a so-called no deal Brexit.

Both ruling Conservative and opposition Labour lawmakers criticised May's Withdrawal Agreement Bill or WAB, legislation which implements the terms of Britain's departure. Some upped efforts to oust her and there were reports that her own ministers could move against her.

More Conservative lawmakers handed over letters to the 1922 Committee, a Conservative group that can make or break party leaders, to demand a no-confidence vote in May, whose strategy to leave the EU has been left in tatters.

Before demitting office, May had some words of advice to her successor. “It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret for me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit. It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum. To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in parliament where I did not. Such a consensus will only be reached if those on both sides of the debate are willing to compromise,” she stated.

May took over after previous Conservative Party PM David Cameron resigned after he gambled that Brexit would be a non-event, but it came to pass.

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First Published on May 24, 2019 03:09 pm
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