British Prime Minister Theresa May was hanging by a string.
In her latest setback, May was forced to back down from her fourth attempt at seeking parliamentary support for a new Brexit bill that was already rejected by most of her conservative party.
Reputable sources say May will officially step down on 10 June. But with US President Donald Trump’s state visit scheduled for 3 June, May will at least stick around long enough to meet with him.
May’s time is up
As AP reports, May had to delay plans to publish the updated EU withdrawal bill this week while her position in leadership was being questioned.
The bill, which includes a promise to hold a congressional vote for a second referendum, was very much aimed at gaining opposition support. But in so doing, it made the Conservatives turn only further against their leader.
As a result, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the committee that oversees Conservative leadership races, there would be ‘overwhelming pressure’ for a no-confidence vote in May whether or not she voluntarily stepped down.
And then on Wednesday, House of Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom resigned from her post, saying she couldn’t support May’s newest withdrawal deal. This was the last straw for many undecided Conservatives.
Conservative legislators have therefore scheduled a meeting later today from May to officially announce her departure date.
So it’s all over for May. Though she will still be around for when Trump comes to Britain from 3–5 June.
‘She looks forward to welcoming the president,’ a spokesman said.
Brexit clock still ticking
Unfortunately, the Brexit debate still remains alive and well. And that means whoever replaces May will have the same dilemma of facing a deeply divided parliament, trying to sort out whether or not to follow through with Brexit, and how close Britain’s ties to the EU will be if and when the time comes.
But this doesn’t appear to be a deterring factor for potential successors, with Senior Conservatives, including former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and several members of her cabinet, already jockeying for May’s position.
As for May, her spokesman says Brexit ‘proved more challenging even than she had imagined’.
We couldn’t agree more.
PS: If you’re more than a few years away from retirement, your job could potentially be at risk of being automated. This free report details the changes you could expect to see in the workplace. And some steps you could take to ensure you — and your children — are well placed in the age of automation.