Defiant May vows to lead Britain to Brexit after United Kingdom election blow

They quit following reports that a number of Conservative MPs would force a leadership election if the pair remained in their jobs.

In a statement outside Downing Street, the 60-year-old premier promised to "fulfil the promise of Brexit".

May's authority over her party was shattered by the election result.

"We want to end austerity and invest in this country and that's what we're going to do".

Elmar Brok, a German conservative and the European Parliament's top Brexit expert, told the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper that the two-year talks would now be more complicated.

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker added he hoped there would not be "further delay" in the talks that "we are desperately waiting for". "They didn't want to leave the EU". May called the snap election to win a clear mandate for her plan to take Britain out of the EU's single market and customs union in order to cut immigration. "The result causes a headache for Brexit negotiations, but it can be managed", said Tim Oliver, an associate at IDEAS, the London School of Economics' foreign policy think tank.

It requires the unwinding of a four-decade relationship with Europe - with the risk that Britain, without a deal, could find itself locked out of the lucrative single European Union market.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron also called for details of the deal to be published, saying: "The actions of this (Conservative) government will have profound implications for the Brexit negotiations and the future of our country". The people know this, and it's time for politicians to respect that understanding and talk about this problem in a rational manner. "With a weak negotiating partner, there's a danger that the (Brexit) negotiations will turn out badly for both sides".

Britain has been plunged into political chaos after a shock result in Thursday's general election that saw the ruling Conservative Party's majority wiped out.

But she came under fire for a lacklustre, soundbite-driven performance on the campaign trail and a damaging U-turn on healthcare policy.

For instance, Menon said, some pro-EU Conservative legislators may wait until the Brexit legislative program comes to Parliament to start attacking it.

After the voting, Corbyn called on May to resign.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insists "I can still be prime minister" as he vows to fight Theresa May's attempt to run a minority government "all the way".

Media commentators agreed she had been badly damaged, and some predicted she and her strategy for Brexit could struggle to survive.

Conservative lawmaker Anna Soubry said May should "consider her position", while another, Heidi Allen, said she may not last six months.

Just after noon on Friday, May was driven the short distance from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government - a formality under the British system.

There are 650 members of Parliament in Britain's House of Commons, so 326 seats are needed for a majority. Some members of Parliament in May's Tory party and the rival Labour Party favor a softer Brexit, in which the United Kingdom might maintain a much closer relationship with the EU.

The Labour leader accused Mrs May of overseeing a "chaotic" administration which is desperately trying to strike a deal with a party it has little in common with.

Conservative Party insiders are also wondering how long May will last.

The result is a gain of 34 seats for Labour and a loss of 16 for the Conservatives.

The socially conservative, pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party's 10 seats are enough to give the right-wing Conservatives a fragile but workable majority, which May said would allow her to negotiate a successful exit from the EU.

  • Zachary Reyes