Fighting back tears, Theresa May said on Friday she would quit, setting up a contest that will bring a new British prime minister to power who could pursue a cleaner break with the European Union.
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 EU and a potentially unpredictable snap parliamentary election.
Her voice cracking with emotion, May, who endured crises and humiliation in her failed effort to find a compromise Brexit deal that parliament could ratify, said she would resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7 with a leadership contest beginning the following week.
“I will shortly leave the job that has been the honor of my life to hold,” May said outside her Downing Street official residence. “The second female prime minister, but certainly not the last.”