UK Prime Minister Theresa May resigns, to leave office on June 7

25 Mai, 2019, 14:43 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • David Lidington

The Conservatives use a two-stage process to choose their leaders, with both MPs and individual party members participating.

The election of a new prime minister may lead to a new phase in Brexit negotiations that could be "very dangerous" for Ireland, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Friday. The Conservative party will hold a vote to determine her successor on June 10.

May's key failure has arguably been her inability to reunite a country divided by the Brexit referendum and to opt instead for a more partisan approach. This was seen in a poor light as Theresa May had previously spoken of her anguish at not being able to conceive.

"I don't wish to elaborate on what I'm going to do and how we are going to do it, but believe me you will hear possibly more about that than you necessarily want to in the next few days", Johnson said.

"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", May said.

The substantial pressure on May to resign after a series of failed votes to ratify her Brexit deal increased yet again last month in response to a historically bad showing for her Conservative party at the polls, where they lost more than 1,300 local seats.

Former foreign secretary and gaffe-prone Brexit cheerleader Boris Johnson is the membership's favorite, but a considerable number of Conservative MPs are thought to hold serious reservations about his suitability for the top job.

More than 12 Conservative MPs are seriously considering running, Laura Kuenssberg said, with former foreign secretary Boris Johnson now seen as the front runner.

Johnson, whose relentless criticism helped push May out of the door, tweeted: "Thank you for your stoical service to our country and the Conservative Party". However, the persona he cultivated as the plucky British amateur fighting a political machine increasingly dominated by spin remained popular with the public, winning him the London mayoral elections in 2008 and 2012.

Brexiters increasingly want a stark, sharp and total break with the European Union and are dismissive of even negotiating a trade deal with Brussels; while their opponents now hope to reverse the 2016 referendum and shape the circumstances for a second plebiscite, which they hope will lead to Britain remaining a member of the bloc.

"The person who will replace her will embrace the possibility of a no deal with alacrity rather than fear", said Steven Fielding, professor of political history at the University of Nottingham.

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A sticking point for many Conservatives is the "backstop" inserted in May's deal to avoid a threat to the peace process in Northern Ireland, which would keep the United Kingdom in a form of customs union with the EU.

Results will not begin to be announced until Sunday night, after voting concludes across the EU. These two then go forward to a postal ballot of Conservative Party members (about 125,000 people).

Outlining his Brexit position, he told the conference: "We will leave the European Union on October 31, deal or no deal".

Ms. May's resignation does little to resolve the Brexit turmoil.

European Union leaders expressed respect for May, and stressed they would not renegotiate the Brexit deal. He's also indicated that he's prepared to leave without any agreement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted May's decision "with respect", said a German government spokesperson.

A leadership contest beginning on 10 June would come after the state visit from US President Donald Trump and the Peterborough by-election.

"She doesn't really have a legacy that she can call her own other than just having to manage what is a very hard issue", said Simon Usherwood, from the University of Surrey's politics department.

And May departed with a warning to her successor.

In January this year, she narrowly survived a no-confidence vote after her Brexit withdrawal plan suffered an historic defeat on the floor of Parliament. "Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise". Ireland's prime minister, Leo Varakar, said: "Obviously, as anyone can see, British politics is consumed by Brexit and will be consumed by Brexit for a very long time".

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