Wed | Sep 18, 2019

Theresa May delays Brexit bill but resists calls to resign

Published:Thursday | May 23, 2019 | 2:15 PM
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip leave a polling station after voting in the European Elections in Sonning, England, Thursday, May 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May backed down Thursday from plans to seek Parliament’s support for a Brexit bill already rejected by much of her Conservative Party.

But she has not, as yet, caved in to demands she resigns and let a new leader try to complete the U.K.’s stalled exit from the European Union.

With her authority draining away by the hour, May delayed plans to publish the EU withdrawal bill — her fourth and likely final attempt to secure Parliament’s backing for her Brexit blueprint.

Conservative lawmakers increasingly see May as an obstacle to Britain’s EU exit, although her replacement will face the same dilemma: a Parliament deeply divided over whether to leave the EU, and how close a relationship to seek with the bloc after it does.

Conservative legislators scheduled a Friday meeting, where they want May to announce her departure date.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the committee that oversees Conservative leadership races, said that if May did not agree to leave, there would be “overwhelming pressure” for a no-confidence vote in her.

If May does name an exit date, she will likely remain prime minister for several more weeks while Conservative lawmakers and members vote to choose a successor.

May’s spokesman, James Slack, said she would still be in office when U.S. President Donald Trump comes to Britain for a June 3-5 state visit.

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