London (CNN)Anyone who thinks Theresa May’s resignation announcement — telling her party she will stand down once Brexit is delivered — marks the end of the most turbulent period in British politics for decades is mistaken.
We are only coming to the end of the first act of a very long and complicated play.
As was clear from proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday night, lawmakers cannot decide on a Plan B for Brexit.
And yet it’s highly likely that Plan A — the Prime Minister’s deal already defeated twice in the Commons — may be completely dead after the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), on whose votes May depends, said they could never back it.
From this interminable state of deadlock, it is very difficult to predict how the next few weeks and months will turn out for both the government and the United Kingdom, but let’s give it a try.
May pledged to resign in exchange for Conservative votes for her deal, and some Tory lawmakers did switch sides.
It may seem that, given the DUP decision to block it anyway, her offer was a waste of time — and yet it is hard to see how the Prime Minister can cling on beyond the summer anyway, given her authority and credibility are now all but obliterated.
It was reported that a contest to find May’s successor could begin in late May, perhaps straight after the new potential Brexit date of May 22.
A six week campaign would produce a new Tory leader — and Prime Minister — by early July.
This timetable would chime with that of Brussels, which will be reassembling for a new session after the European Parliament elections in May.
The new Prime Minister’s number one task will be to open the second phase of Brexit negotiations with the European Union, on a future trading relationship…