British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Friday that she will resign on June 7, facing a cabinet rebellion.
"I believe it was right to persevere even when the odds against success seemed high. But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort," she said. A YouGov poll for The Times of London published Wednesday found that her Conservative Partywould come in fifth place, with just 7% of the vote, while the newly-formed Brexit Party was predicted to cruise to victory with 37%.
Anti-Brexit lawmakers are seeking a second referendum. Previosly, before her decision to resign, May announced Tuesday that she would include in her new bill a guarantee of a parliamentary vote for a second referendum, as well as a vote on keeping the U.K. in a temporary customs union until the next general election. House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom resigned on Wednesday, the 36th minister to resign under May’s watch. May’s formal announcement of her plans to depart will add fuel to a leadership race already underway. Conservative lawmakers have been positioning themselves for a leadership contest for months. European Union officials worry about what comes next, but they insisted that their position on Brexit would not budge. “We are ready, we have been ready, we continue to be ready whatever the scenario is,” said Mina Andreeva, a European Commission spokeswoman.