Monday 19th April 2021

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  • May says will use remaining time as PM on domestic agenda

    Theresa May will use the remainder of her time as Britain’s prime minister to focus on her domestic agenda, her spokeswoman said on Friday, the day May officially steps down as head of the governing Conservative Party.

    May will continue to be in office until her party elects a new leader, likely in late July, but has relinquished control over the direction of Britain’s tortuous departure from the European Union.

    She will exchange letters with the chairs of the 1922 Committee, which groups Conservative lawmakers, later on Friday, the spokeswoman said.

    “For the remainder of her time in office, she will be building on the domestic agenda that she has put at the heart of her premiership.”

    May stepping down formally triggers the race for a successor who will try where she failed to deliver Brexit.

    Brexit is still scheduled for October 31 but while her rivals thrash it out, the project remains stuck, with the only divorce plan agreed with Brussels stuck in Parliament.

    May took office after the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU and has spent the past three years working on the plan, delaying Brexit twice to try to get it through. She finally acknowledged defeat in a tearful resignation speech last month, the culmination of months of political turmoil that has slowly sapped all her authority.

    Eleven Conservative MPs are currently vying to replace her, including former foreign minister Boris Johnson, but some are expected to drop out before Monday’s deadline for nominations.

    The winner 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.

    (Cover: Theresa May speaks to reporters after being confirmed as the leader of the Conservative Party and Britain’s next Prime Minister outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London

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