NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE RESIGNATION OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, THERESA MAY LAST WEEK
Last Friday, the Prime Minister of The United Kingdom, Theresa May announced her decision to resign from her position. She leaves office as the 75th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since the year 1712. Mrs May had the privilege to lead one of the economic giant nations of the world and also as the second female after Margaret Thatcher who was Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. Her two years and 318 days in office could be best described as a political turmoil for herself, the parliament and entire people of the UK. Her predecessor, David Cameron did foresee the huge task ahead for the UK as leading members of the EU could easily leave the union, they have played a leading role for 46 years and therefore resigned after six years as Prime Minister of Britain, amidst uncertainties of the outcome of the unprecedented national decision. He had wished his Britain remained in the EU and had engaged vigorously in a national campaign to that effect but Britons had a different view to their Prime Minister. So, Mr Cameron resigned with the reason, that the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path.
On the other hand, Theresa May noted that she will shortly leave the job that has been the honour of her life to hold. As per her decision and arrangements, Mrs May would leave the Number 10 Downing Street office and home on the 7th of June this year to the pave way for the selection of a new leader for the ruling Conservative Party and also as the 76th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Her years as Prime Minister to many a British have been a total waste of political and economic years in respect to her inability to break the impasse over the difficult procedure to make Britain exist from the EU. This is because the nation has lost much time and resources working on clearly an unachievable target, hence the pressure on her to resign. So much emotion characterised her departure address obviously for not fulfilling her promise after the 2016 referendum on Brexit, that she was “ready to lead the United Kingdom out of the bloc of confusion and disunity and heal its divisions.” Mrs May is rather leaving office when Britain perhaps is much more divided than when she took office. After failing to secure the blessing of the House of Commons for the third time before the exit deadline of 29th March 2019, and the fourth time on the 1st of April, Mrs May’s task appeared so much insurmountable. After wandering around for yet another attempt to present satisfying negotiation outcomes to the Commons for approval failed, the honourable thing to do was for her to exit before Brexit. The outgoing Prime Minister could not work towards the huge size of the UK’s ‘divorce bill’ with the EU of about £39 billion which was calculated based on agreement between the UK and EU. There are still other huge hurdles for the UK to go over. The hurdles left to be tackled include, the UK payment of over £9 billion per annum net into the EU budget within the years of the negotiation.
The huge question unanswered is how to manage the deadlock over how, when or whether to leave the EU. This obviously would be a daunting task for her successor who will have to work hard and very diplomatically among the two divides of parliament to find a consensus on Brexit which has become a huge political crisis and an extremely difficult task to work on. So, who is next to wear the crown? A crown of more responsibilities, tasks and difficulties than honour and fame. Will it be the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, former leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom, or former works and pensions secretary Esther McVey? Obviously, time will tell.
BY: NANA SIFA TWUM – MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION CONSULTANT.