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Tearful May resigns, paving way for Brexit confrontation with EU

24 May 2019 - 167   - 0

Fighting back tears, British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday she would quit, triggering a contest that will bring a new leader to power who is likely to push for a more decisive Brexit divorce deal.

May’s departure will 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 a potentially unpredictable snap parliamentary election.

May set out a timetable for her departure - she will resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7 with a leadership contest beginning the following week.

Her voice cracking with emotion, May, who endured crises and humiliation in her failed effort to find a compromise Brexit deal that parliament could ratify, said she bore no ill will.

“I will shortly leave the job that has been the honour of my life to hold,” May said. “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,” May said, with her husband, Philip, looking on.

May, once a reluctant supporter of EU membership, who won the top job in the turmoil that followed the 2016 Brexit vote, steps down with her central pledges - to lead the United Kingdom out of the bloc and heal its divisions - unfulfilled.

“It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” May said, adding that her successor would have to find a consensus to honour the 2016 referendum result.

(REUTERS)

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