LONDON – Britain’s embattled leader Theresa May resigned her premiership Friday, although she will stay on as caretaker prime minister for now, amid a barrage of criticism and mounting pressure over her failed efforts to steer the nation out of the European Union in a manner acceptable to increasingly rebellious lawmakers.

May, 62, lasted three years in office.

May’s Conservative Party will start, from June 7, a process to replace her that could take several weeks or more. Britain elects a party, not a specific political candidate, meaning that there will be no immediate change to the party that is in power. 

She took over from David Cameron, also of the Conservative Party. Cameron resigned after he gambled that when he called Britain’s 2016 national referendum on whether leave the EU, the country would choose to stay in the 28-nation bloc. It didn’t.   

May previously announced she would relinquish her position once lawmakers approved her controversial EU withdrawal agreement. The deal has been rejected three times already and British parliamentarians were due to vote on it a fourth time in early June.  

But despite a last-ditch bid to secure support for her Brexit plan – including a promise to give Parliament a vote on whether to hold a new vote on EU membership, something May repeatedly ruled out – it became clear that that, too, was not sufficient to convince lawmakers across the political spectrum her deal served Britain’s interests.  

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