Theresa May hints she wants to stay on after Brexit to 'get on with' domestic agenda

Posted On: 
25th February 2019

Theresa May has risked fresh anger from her party as she hinted that she plans to stay on as Prime Minister beyond Brexit.

Theresa May and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the EU-Arab League summit in Egypt.

She told reporters on a trip to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt that her job was "not only about delivering Brexit" and vowed to "get on with" her domestic agenda once Britain leaves the EU.

Mrs May helped to stave off a Conservative bid to oust her in a no confidence vote before Christmas by telling her MPs that she would stand aside before 2022.

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A number of Cabinet ministers have signalled in recent days that they want the Prime Minister to step down shortly after the first phase of the Brexit negotiations concludes, paving the way for a Tory leadership contest in the summer.

Asked by reporters whether she would still be in a job by Christmas, Mrs May said she would not "play those games".

But, pressed on whether she wanted to steer Britain through the second phase of Brexit talks, the Prime Minister said: "First of all, you are absolutely right that there is a second part of the negotiation in terms of the future economic relationship and the future security partnership.

"We have set out a clear framework for that and that is the basis on which those negotiations would go forward.

“But I was very clear in December with the Conservative Party that what I’m doing — my job — is not just about delivering Brexit.

"Actually, there’s a domestic agenda that I’m delivering on, that reflects what I said on the doorstep of Number 10 when I first became PM.

"That’s why we’ve been making key decisions like the extra money for the NHS and the long-term plan for the NHS. There is still a domestic agenda that I want to get on with."

Conservative party rules give the Tory leader a year's grace after winning a no confidence vote, meaning Mrs May cannot be challenged in a fresh leadership vote until December.

The hint from the Prime Minister that she intends to stay in post came as she confirmed that the second meaningful vote on her Brexit deal would now not take place until just 17 days before Britain is due to leave the EU.