British prime minister Theresa May announces resignation from her position on Friday, bringing more uncertainty to who will take on as the new leader to push a more definitive Brexit deal.
On three occasions, UK lawmakers have refused to vote in favor of May's proposed Brexit deals, leading to open challenges to her leadership from within her own party.
Addressing a quickly-arranged press conference with an emotional speech outside 10 Downing Street, May said she had "done everything" she could to convince MPs (members of parliament) to back her Brexit withdrawal agreement she had negotiated with the European Union. However, with "deep regret," she had ultimately failed to reach a consensus among the lawmakers.
"I believe it was right to persevere even when the odds against success seemed high, but it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new prime minister to lead that effort," she added.
She began the official process of withdrawing the UK as part of the European Union (commonly known as Brexit) in March 2017.
May's term has lasted around three years after she won the race to succeed David Cameron, as the UK's second female prime minister, after Margaret Thatcher.
Reciting the timetable for her departure, May said that she will resign as Conservative Party leader on 7 June, with a leadership contest set to take place the following week. She will continue as an acting prime minister until a new leader is elected.
The situation may deepen the Brexit crisis unless the next leader is able to bring a more decisive deal. British Pound Sterling rose by 0.5 percent immediately after the announcement, before paring gains as the news settled in.