PM to stand down as UK leader once withdrawal from European Union is final
British Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly planning to quit her role as UK leader this Summer after Brexit is finalized and the country’s withdrawal from the European Union is complete.
According to a report by The Sun newspaper, members of May’s “inner circle” say the PM is planning to wait “a few weeks” for the dust to settle on Brexit before standing down as Britain’s leader.
May will call a Conservative Party leadership contest shortly after leaving the EU, The Sun reports, but hopes to choose her own replacement to prevent a successful bid from Boris Johnson.
The Prime Minister has hinted to Cabinet ministers that she will trigger a Tory leadership race that will be decided before the party’s annual conference in October.
According to reports, she plans to make the announcement shortly after Brexit, to give her time to select and prepare a replacement.
The current International Trade Secretary believes she will go after the deadline on March 29, a source close to Liam Fox, May’s good friend, told The Sun.
A senior Conservative Party source told The Sun: “Liam is convinced she’ll go this summer.
“He says everything the PM has told him suggests that.
“She’s determined to ensure the right person follows her, and she’ll have no say at all if it gets to the stage of forcing her out.”
According to the Daily Mail, Mrs. May has only dropped hints, however, and has not revealed to anyone what she will do.
A senior No10 source said it is only ever her husband who knows what she is planning.
They said to the same paper: “The only person who will know Theresa’s real thinking on when she’ll step down is her husband, Philip.
“She won’t share it with anyone else, not us or any Cabinet minister.”
According to some in the Tory party, Mrs. May wants to leave when she has regained strength after the exit date.
However, she will take a keen interest in the person replacing her.
It is believed she will attempt to keep out those who have harmed her premiership, such as Boris Johnson.
Business Secretary Greg Clark has apparently also indicated to friends she will go this year.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier today doubled down on demands Mrs. May reach a deal with Mr. Corbyn, insisting “something has to give on the British side” and “time is short” to conclude the deal.
Mrs. May then caused panic in Tory ranks by appearing to open the door to a grand bargain.
But Downing Street insisted the PM was “absolutely clear” that she will not support the call from Labour.
Mrs. May sparked furor by penning a letter to Mr. Corbyn saying his call for the UK to stay in a customs union would hamper free trade deals – but stopped short of ruling it out.
Mrs. May also said the Tories were “prepared to commit” to new laws to protect workers’ rights after Brexit – a key demand of Labour and the unions.
Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom dismissed the prospect of Mrs. May adopting Jeremy Corbyn’s “world view,” and insisted: “I’m staying in Cabinet to help the Prime Minister deliver Brexit.”
Asked in an interview with the Press Association if she would resign if the PM adopted Labour’s proposals for a customs union with the EU after Brexit, the Commons Leader said: “I’ve read the Prime Minister’s letter and I don’t think she’s softening her stance at all.
“I think she’s making quite clear that what Corbyn is demanding is actually not as good as what the Prime Minister’s deal is offering.
“So he wants a customs union and he is unclear as to whether that means he also wants an independent trade policy.
“He’s unclear as to whether he also wants to stop free movement, and of course, the EU’s view would be well if you’re in the customs union then you have free movement and you abide by the common external tariff.
“I think there’s no doubt that what the Prime Minister is offering is better than what Corbyn is demanding, which simply begs the question, if they like it, why don’t they vote for it?”
Pressed again on the issue, Mrs. Leadsom said there was “no chance” that Mrs. May would adopt Mr. Corbyn’s socialist “view of the world.”
“The Prime Minister has been absolutely clear we’re leaving the EU, we’re leaving the customs union, we’re leaving the single market.
“We’re taking back control, we won’t be paying money over, free movement will end, and we will have our own independent free trade policy so I definitely don’t see the Prime Minister agreeing to Corbyn’s world view.”
The frontbencher refused to say what the cut-off date would be for the necessary legislation to get through the Commons to allow the UK to leave the EU as planned on March 29.