Theresa May's Brexit Stance Is Somewhat Surprising Given Her Conservative Background
After the United Kingdom's Brexit decision last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation, suggesting that the country needed new leadership in moving forward with leaving the European Union. On Monday, Cameron announced he would step down as soon as Wednesday, July 13, and that Theresa May would succeed him as prime minister. Cameron was a firm believer and leader of the U.K.'s "remain" campaign, but what about May? Here is a look at future British PM Theresa May's Brexit stance.
In Cameron's official statement on Monday, he said "It's clear Theresa May has the overwhelming support of the Conservative parliamentary party. I'm also delighted that Theresa May will be the next prime minister. She is strong, she is competent, she's more than able to provide the leadership the country is going to need in the years ahead and she will have my full support."
May is a conservative British politician, and is currently serving the Home Secretary for Her Majesty's Government. Ahead of the U.K.'s Brexit decision, May supported the U.K.'s "remain" campaign — although her support for the campaign wasn't very vocal. One Telegraph columnist, Allison Pearson, suggested that May neither "[spoke] up too loudly" in favor of remaining, nor "[joined] forces with the Brexiteers," noting, "Cowardice is not a quality we want in a leader."
But May's support in favor of remaining part of the EU doesn't make her politics any less conservative. For instance, the new PM supported the controversial Terrorism Act that was used to detain David Miranda at the Heathrow airport in 2013 for reportedly having files his partner, journalist Glenn Greenwald, obtained from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
She has also made it clear that while moving forward as the new PM, she would support the U.K.'s decision to leave, noting that there would not be a second Brexit vote.
In a statement on Monday, May said, "Brexit means Brexit. The campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high, and the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and no second referendum."
In the midst of much uncertainty following the U.K.'s decision to leave the EU, May also made it clear in her statement that it is a priority for Britain to maintain "trading relationships with the EU [and] other markets," according to The Independent. The news outlet also reported May's emphasis on the rights of EU nationals living in Britain to stay and work, and the same for British nationals who are living across Europe until there is a clear legal agreement on the matter.
Regardless of May not favoring the "leave" campaign, she will lead the country in that direction.