“I have done my best,” May said in a statement to cameras in the sunshine outside her Downing Street offices. “It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.”
May said Britain now needs a new prime minister to take over and try to complete the task that has defeated her. She will stand down as Conservative Party leader on June 7, with a leadership contest formally beginning the following week.
There will be a crowded field for that election and the race for No.10 will be hard to predict. Party bosses hope to have a new leader in place by the end of July. The result will shape the direction of Brexit and all options — from leaving with no deal to canceling the divorce — are now back on the table.
Beyond May—The Tory Rivals Jostling to Be U.K. Prime Minister
May’s decision heralds the end of a turbulent, three-year premiership that’s been marked by increasingly bitter divisions within her party and across Britain over how to leave the European Union.
The U.K. was due to withdraw from the EU on March 29. But May’s inability to get the divorce deal she negotiated in Brussels approved in Britain’s deadlocked Parliament has forced her to delay exit day until October.
“I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal. Sadly, I have not been able to do so,” she said.
May delivered her speech in somber tones. As she reached the end, the emotion of the occasion clearly overwhelmed her.
“I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honor of my life to hold – the second female Prime Minister but certainly not the last,” she said, her voice cracking. “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, an intensely private politician whose mechanical answers earned her the nickname “Maybot,” finally broke down as she turned from the cameras to walk back in through the door to No.10.
Attention now switches to the leadership contest ahead. The front-runner is pro-Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson, who favors a quick, sharp break from the EU. Britain has until October 31 to agree a deal with the 27 other member states. Otherwise the risk is the country will tumble out of the EU with no agreement in place to cushion the economic blow. DM
In other news...
South Africa is in a very real battle. A political fight where terms such as truth and democracy can seem more of a suggestion as opposed to a necessity.
On one side of the battle are those openly willing to undermine the sovereignty of a democratic society, completely disregarding the weight and power of the oaths declared when they took office. If their mission was to decrease society’s trust in government - mission accomplished.
And on the other side are those who believe in the ethos of a country whose constitution was once declared the most progressive in the world. The hope that truth, justice and accountability in politics, business and society is not simply fairy tale dust sprinkled in great electoral speeches; but rather a cause that needs to be intentionally acted upon every day.
However, it would be an offensive oversight not to acknowledge that right there on the front lines, alongside whistleblowers and civil society, stand the journalists. Armed with only their determination to inform society and defend the truth, caught in the crossfire of shots fired from both sides.
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"After listening for 10 minutes I realised it's not so easy." ~ Donald Trump