As Theresa May readies to take charge as the second female prime minister in the history of United Kingdom, what awaits this Conservative leader, who campaigned for the Remain camp during Brexit referendum, are herculean tasks ranging from economy to holding together United Kingdom.
Observers say May faces daunting challenges that no other peace time prime ministers had faced.
A conservative politician of vast experience Theresa May, though initially Eurosceptic campaigned for the Remain camp along with the outgoing prime minister David Cameron.
She has unequivocally said after the referendum said that ” Brexit means Brexit, No attempts to remain in the EU and no attempts to enter the European Union through back door” will be made. She has already ruled out the possibility holding another referendum.
The first challenge before May, therefore, is to unite the country which had been divided between 52% and 48%. Analysts say the Brexit vote has divided the country like never before. And as May campaigned and voted for Remain the Brexiters will be monitoring her steps closely.
Earlier she had said she would activate article 50 of European Union only by January 2017( Article 50 deals with the process of exit of members from the European Union). But European Union wants Britain to invoke the article as soon as possible. The hardcore Brexiters in Britain also demand the same. What position she will take after assuming office would be her first test domestically and internationally.
There is an estimated 3 million EU nationals living in Britain. What would happen to them once the divorce with EU is formalised. May has earlier said that she could not guarantee their status after Brexit becomes operational. Whatever stand she takes is going to have a consequence economically and politically. Her position may depend upon how the EU countries treats the British nationals after Brexit is formalised.
Another major challenge is how she is going to deal with migrant issue. There were criticism from different political parties that as home secretary May failed to meet the government’s targets to reduce the people coming in.
Apart from all these issues the main thing that would be watched closely is how she is to negotiate with the EU. Would she able to have a cordial exit agreement with the EU? This would be of paramount importance not only to British economy but also how EU will function in the days ahead.
After the Brexit referendum, Scotland has expressed its willingness to continue to with in EU. Would they ask for referendum on whether to stay within United Kingdom? Then that might herald the end of the United Kingdom. The challenges before May makes her job one of the most difficult and which demand diplomatic acumen. Her ability to deliver would change Britain and to some extent the world at large.