On Wednesday, Theresa May will become the second female prime minister in British history, following in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher, who led her country for three terms, from 1979 to 1990. She will succeed David Cameron, who is stepping down after six years.
May, who has served since 2010 as Britain’s Home Secretary, faces major challenges when she takes the reins at Downing Street. The new PM will oversee Britain’s exit from the European Union, a two-year process which begins as soon as the new government triggers Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon.
Ironically, May was a “Remainer” ahead of the June 23 referendum on EU membership, supporting Britain staying inside the EU. She will now be in charge of Brexit, tasked with uniting a fractured ruling Conservative Party, as well as a divided nation, and steering Britain in fresh waters outside of a declining European Union that has become a byword for economic turmoil.
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