Published: Fri, May 24, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Tearful May resigns, paving way for Brexit confrontation with EU

Tearful May resigns, paving way for Brexit confrontation with EU

So far, Mrs May has resisted, vowing to press on despite opposition from lawmakers and other ministers to her bid to get her Brexit deal through Parliament by softening her stance on a second referendum and customs arrangements.

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said MPs had already squandered too much time going around in circles on the departure deal, causing harm to the economy as the latest Brexit deadline of 31 October approaches.

Theresa May has announced she is to stand down as Prime Minister on 7 June following months of mounting pressure over her failure to deliver Brexit.

There was a feverish atmosphere in Parliament, as Conservative lawmakers met in private to plot a leadership challenge, and expectations are rising that May could be forced to announce her departure within days.

Watched by husband Philip and her closest aides, an emotional Mrs May said it was in the "best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort".

Her reign was marked by Brexit turmoil, and she admitted in her farewell speech that she regretted not being able to convince the MPs to back her bill.

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Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom says she is resigning because she does not believe May's Brexit plan delivers on voters' decision to leave the European Union.

Concluding her resignation statement, Mrs May broke down as she said it had been "the honour of my life" to serve "the country that I love".

Mrs May has previously agreed to set out the timetable for the contest to replace her after a vote on her latest Brexit deal.

Most of the leading contenders to succeed May want a tougher divorce deal, although the European Union has said it will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement it sealed with Britain in November. Boris Johnson, the face of the official Brexit campaign in 2016, is the favourite to succeed May and he thanked her for her "stoical service".

But Government whip Mark Spencer, outlining forthcoming business in the Commons on Thursday, said: "We will update the House on the publication and introduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on our return from the Whitsun recess".

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt also said she had "given my advice to Number 10".

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