In the waking hours of Friday, May 24, Theresa May stepped out in front of Ten Downing Street, and in a tearful speech, announced her resignation from the post she’s held since 2016.
May, the second female British Prime Minister, has been repeatedly bashed for her position on Brexit. The British Parliament has arrived at a basic standstill, and May’s three bills have all been rejected. May’s resignation follows after around 50 members of her own government have resigned, many citing May’s inability to handle Brexit as the primary reason for their resignation. After months of pressure from her own party, and in light of a likely unsuccessful fourth Brexit deal, May has confirmed her resignation, planned for June 7, 2019.
Her speech was mainly centered around Brexit, and her failure to complete it. Originally, May solidly committed to the idea that she would resign only after they found a solution to Brexit, but her inability to compromise and settle on a good plan ultimately led her to admit that,
“I negotiated the terms of our exit and a new relationship with our closest neighbours that protects jobs, our security and our union. I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal. Sadly I have not been able to do so. I tried three times.”
After her remarks on Brexit, May moved on to reflect on her time as prime minister. She looked back fondly at her accomplishments and brought up several, from practically reducing the deficit, to reducing the national debt. She brought up her lasting impacts on job security and environmental protection, and most notably, talked about her contributions to the mental health crisis within Britain.
However, in a controversial turn of events, May did bring up her contributions at Grenfell Tower. Firefighters were quick to react, and many said that Grenfell was nothing to be proud of. Many cited unsafe conditions as the cause of the accident, and those unsafe conditions were only allowed to build with May in control of the government.
As her speech started to draw to a close, May recalled her experiences as British prime minister, “I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honor of my life to hold.” As she wrapped up this statement, May struggled to maintain a steady composure. May quickly ran off stage, slamming the door behind her, in a fast and rushed end to her resignation speech.
So what does this all mean for Britain?
Well, for starters, May isn’t going to be leaving as soon as June 7th rolls around. She is projected to step down from conservative leadership but is expected to remain until Britain can establish a position for a new prime minister. The new Conservative Party leader will be elected the same week May resigns. As for Prime Minister, it is estimated that the new prime minister will take over the position before Parliament’s July Break.
As for Brexit, unless they are able to secure a new deal or a new day, on October 31, Britain will leave empty-handed. Or maybe, not at all. Now, party leaders on both sides are concerned that Britain may be headed toward an inescapable “sleepwalk” out of the EU.
May’s resignation throws lots of things into the air for Britain to consider. But most importantly, it turns the already quickly ticking clock further away from Britain’s favor. Between her resignation and Brexit, Britain will only have around 5 months to find a deal, a prime minister, and a new leader for the conservative party.
May’s resignation raises the question: will they be able to do all of that?
Featured image via Sky News