British Prime Minister Theresa May told members of her Conservative Party that she will step down ahead of a second phase of talks on how the country will exit the European Union — the troubled process known as Brexit.
Conservative Party members of Parliament told Reuters and other media outlets that May said in a private meeting that if she can get an agreement to carry on with a plan for leaving the economic bloc approved she would then step down.
“I know there is a desire for a new approach, and new leadership, in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations, and I won’t stand in the way of that,” May told Conservative Party lawmakers, according to excerpts released by Downing Street and reported by the Washington Post.
“I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country and our party.”
May didn’t set a timeline, but at least one Conservative lawmaker said May planned to step down after a withdrawal agreement passes, but before the next phase of talks on how it will be carried out.
"My recollection is that she said she would not remain in the post for the next phase of the negotiations, the implication being that once the withdrawal agreement has passed, she would make way for someone else," James Cartlidge told the BBC.
May has twice failed to win approval for a plan for how to remove the UK from the European Union, a move demanded by British voters in a 2016 referendum.
May’s reported remarks come just a few days before the original date that Britain was supposed to leave the EU, though the final exit plan has been mired in a fight over how, when and even if it ultimately will leave.
Parliament members were meeting Wednesday in hopes of coming to an agreement on moving forward with the withdrawal.
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Photo courtesy of the United Kingdom via Wikimedia.
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