What Happened: Negotiations between the British government and the opposition Labour Party have broken down due to disagreements over whether the United Kingdom should remain in the EU customs union and hold a second referendum, according to Prime Minister Theresa May, The Guardian reported May 17. In the meantime, May agreed to present a timetable for her resignation after Parliament holds a vote on the EU withdrawal agreement bill in June.
Why It Matters: May remains hopeful that a strong performance by the Brexit Party in upcoming European Parliament elections, alongside her promise to resign in June, will be sufficient to convince her rivals within the Conservative Party to support her withdrawal agreement in June.
Background: May promised members of the Conservative Party earlier this year that she would resign after Parliament approves her Brexit deal, although the party's weak performance in recent municipal elections, coupled with expectations that the Tories will also suffer a reverse in upcoming European parliament elections, led the party to demand a clear timeline for May's resignation.
- A New Brexit Countdown: What the U.K. Could Do Before Oct. 31 (May 6, 2019)
- Political Risk Is on the Rise in Europe. Here's Why. (April 25, 2019)
- U.K.: A Tragedy in Northern Ireland Highlights a Brexit Risk (April 19, 20