Theresa May reacts as she delivers a statement in London. Reuters
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday announced she will step down as Conservative leader on June 7 after failing to convince MPs to support her Brexit deal.
"It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit," May said in a statement outside her Downing Street residence.
May set out a timetable for her departure: She will resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7 with a leadership contest in the following week.
"I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist party on Friday, 7 June so that a successor can be chosen," May said outside 10 Downing Street.
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.
She endured crises and humiliation in her effort to find a compromise Brexit deal that parliament could ratify, and bequeaths a deeply divided country and a political elite that is deadlocked over how, when or whether to leave the EU.
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 snap parliamentary election.
The leading contenders to succeed May all want a tougher divorce deal, although the EU has said it will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Treaty it sealed in November.
Contenders to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s prime minister prepared to launch their leadership campaigns on Saturday, leaving Brexit shrouded in uncertainty.
Brexit became official Friday at 11 p.m. in London and midnight in Brussels, where the EU is headquartered.
British Prime Minister Theresa May was clinging to power on Thursday after her final Brexit gambit backfired, overshadowing a European election that has shown a United Kingdom still riven over its divorce from the EU.
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