British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday she will resign after several failed attempts to take the country out of the European Union.
Standing in front of the prime minister’s official home on Friday, May said, “I will shortly leave the job that has been the honor of my life to hold.”
She added, “It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.”
May became prime minister after Britain voted in 2016 to leave the European Union (EU) in what became known as Brexit. For nearly three years, she was not able to get parliament to approve a Brexit deal. Britain now has until October 31 to secure an agreement to leave the EU.
May will resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7. Her resignation will lead to a party leadership election. A number of people have expressed an interest in leading the Conservatives. High-level party leaders are to meet the following week.
Who will be the next prime minister?
Some conservative lawmakers have looked at May as a barrier to Brexit. However, her replacement will face the same parliament, which remains deeply divided over whether to leave the EU.
Boris Johnson, a supporter of Brexit, is the leading candidate to succeed May as party leader and prime minister. Johnson resigned last year as May’s foreign secretary after disagreement over the terms of Brexit.
Johnson wrote on Twitter, “Thank you for your stoical service to our country and the Conservative Party. It is now time to follow her urgings: to come together and deliver Brexit.”
Another possible successor is Andrea Leadsom. Her recent resignation as the leader of the House of Commons led to May’s latest political crisis. Leadsom praised May’s commitment to country and duty. Leadsom added, “She did her utmost, and I wish her all the very best.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called May “a woman of courage” for whom he has great respect.
Also on Friday, the spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted that the EU will continue to work closely with Britain’s next leader for “an orderly exit.”
I'm Anne Ball.
Hai Do adpated this story for Learning English based on Associated Press and Reuters news reports. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
a matter of - phrase, used to say that something is important
deliver - v. to produce the promised or wanted result
stoical - adj. accepting the duty without complaining
commitment - n. the action of someone who works very hard to do something
utmost - adj. greatest or highest degree
courage - adj. the ability to do something that you know is difficult