Published: Wed, June 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Conservative leadership race begins as Theresa May formally quits

Conservative leadership race begins as Theresa May formally quits

Her promise to leave the EU's institutions and end free movement of workers delighted eurosceptic MPs, but caused dismay among many pro-Europeans.

Ever since Britain voted in 2016 to leave the European Union, the other 27 nations in the bloc have presented a united front in negotiations, finally agreeing late a year ago to a detailed divorce plan with May's government.

March 12, 2019: Lawmakers reject deal again.

Mrs May is stepping down amid a growing row with Chancellor Philip Hammond over her plans to leave with a series of big spending announcements, including a mult-ibillion-pound overhaul of England's schools and colleges, according to the Financial Times.

The victor will have only a few months to decide whether to try to salvage May's plan, delay Brexit again - or sever ties with Britain's closest trading partner with no agreement at all.

Although Farage celebrated the result for his party, which won 29 seats in last month's European Parliament elections, trouncing both the Conservatives and Labour, the outcome in Peterborough wasn't entirely good news for the Brexit party either.

May said while announcing her resignation that it is time for a new prime minister to try to deliver Brexit.

But despite winning, Labour's vote share fell by 17 percent while the Conservatives' vote plummeted by 25%, highlighting the task facing May's successor.

Leading pollster John Curtice told the BBC said the result showed the country was now in a "different political world".

The contest to replace her has been heating up for weeks, with candidates arguing over the rights and wrongs of a "no-deal" Brexit, Britain's most significant foreign and trade policy shift for more than 40 years.

Whether another party will come out of the remnants of what purports to be the Conservative Party at the moment; that's a completely different question.

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Nearly three years since Britain voted 52% to 48% to leave the European Union, lawmakers remain at loggerheads over how, when or even whether to leave the EU.

Britain's opposition Labour party has narrowly held on to a key constituency in a byelection widely seen as gauging the country's feelings on Brexit.

Her time as PM has been turbulent and overshadowed with mishaps and mistakes.

Donald Trump and Theresa May spoke of their "special relationship" earlier this week during the US President's State Visit. May will continue to serve as Prime Minister until her successor is elected.

May, together with Cameron, campaigned to remain in the European Union prior to the European Union referendum held in June 2016.

Other front runners are playing catch up, with the current foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, and environment minister Michael Gove taking a more moderate stance on Brexit.

May will remain in office as a powerless caretaker prime minister until the leadership election is concluded likely late next month.

Nominations for her successor will close on June 10, with the first round of voting by MPs taking place on June 13.

The 1922 Committee will oversee the hustings and balloting of Conservative MPs to whittle the field of candidates down to a final two. The 160,000 members of the party will then be invited to choose between the two in a postal ballot.

The contest should be completed in the week commencing July 22.

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