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UK's Theresa May pledges to quit before next election as she fights leadership challenge

Wednesday 12/December/2018 - 09:05 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Hassnein Tayea
British Prime Minister Theresa May promised on Wednesday (Dec 12) to step down before the next parliamentary election due in 2022، hoping to win over wavering lawmakers before a no confidence vote triggered by Brexiteers in her Conservative Party، Reuters reported.

Less than four months before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29، the country’s exit is in chaos with options ranging from a potentially disorderly “no-deal” departure to another referendum that could reverse it.

At a closed meeting with her lawmakers before they were due to decide her fate، May announced she would not take the party into the next election due four years from now.
“She did say she wouldn’t be fighting the next general election،” work and pensions minister Amber Rudd told reporters.

“It was quite emotional the way she put it، she said in my heart I wanted to do that but now I recognise that I am not going to.”

The Conservative lawmakers are casting their votes in the confidence ballot from 1800 GMT in a parliamentary committee room. An announcement is due at 2100 GMT (5am on Thursday، Singapore time).

May could be toppled if a simple majority of 317 Conservative members of parliament (MPs) vote against her، though a large rebellion could also leave her fatally weakened.
At least 198 indicated public support for her and one bookmaker put the likelihood she would win at 89 percent.

The numbers will be significant، and will also indicate the level of opposition in the ruling party to the Brexit deal she has negotiated with Brussels.

“If much more than 100 MPs vote against her then I think she is going to be struggling to remain for very long and would find it difficult to get that deal through the House of Commons،” said polling expert John Curtice.

Brexit is Britain’s most significant political and economic decision since World War Two. Pro-Europeans fear the departure will weaken the West as it grapples with the presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russia and China.

The outcome will shape Britain’s US$2.8 trillion economy، have far reaching consequences for UK unity and determine whether London keeps its place as one of the top two global financial centres.

The British pound rose to US$1.2652 on bets that May would keep her job.

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