Filling May's boots: What happens to Brexit after British PM resigns

WION Web Team New Delhi May 28, 2019, 01.18 PM(IST)

File photo: UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Experts and analysts are of the view that the new leader - while trying to fill in May's shoes - will have to negotiate tough on the UK's exit from the EU. 

Britain is facing a fresh political turmoil since Theresa May’s announcement to quit as country’s prime minister in the wake of the failure to get her Brexit deal passed. The European Union (EU), with whom Britain decided to sever ties in a referendum, has refused to accept May’s deal and she now hopes a new prime minister will “take the process forward”.

But the people of Britain are sick of the “Brexit drama”. Britain's two main parties were snubbed in the recent EU elections - the first solid indication of what's playing on the minds of the people since they voted to leave the EU in 2016.

British voters complain of the Brexit deal stuck in a limbo, adding that what is needed is an end to the delay and clarity on the course ahead. 

Watch: With May's exit, what happens to Brexit?

Voters have rejected the handling of Brexit so far and have instead shown support to parties that were unequivocally pro-Brexit or pro-EU. In other words, they have voted for clarity. But that's a long way to go, as of now Britain is gearing up for the race to Prime Minister's chair since Theresa May is on her way out.

The contenders, those in the race to replace May have launched their leadership campaigns.

Who'll replace Theresa May?

- Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson

- Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab.

- Former Commons leader Andrea Leadsom

- Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt 

- Environment Secretary Michael Gove 

- International Development Secretary Rory Stewart

- Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt 

- Home Secretary Sajid Javid

- Pensions minister Esther McVey 

So far, only Johnson, Stewart and McVey have declared their intention to stand.

"There's a lot of runners and riders in this particular race," Tony Travers, a politics professor at the London School of Economics University, told AFP.

Johnson "would certainly be the party membership's choice but not necessarily members of parliament", he added.

Filling May's shoes

Experts and analysts are of the view that the new leader - while trying to fill in May's shoes - will have to negotiate tough on the UK's exit from the EU, for the Union is unlikely to reopen the terms of the withdrawal agreement.

Then, Britain may also be posed with the situation wherein it leaves the EU with "no deal" in the absence of a formal withdrawal agreement approved by its parliament. 

May will step down on June 7 but stay on as the PM until her successor is chosen by July 20.

Britain's EU departure date is currently fixed for October 31, although any new leader could ask for a further delay.

(With inputs from AFP)