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Theresa May Quits

British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement that she resigns, triggering a contest that will bring a new leader to power who is likely to push for a more decisive Brexit divorce deal.

May set out a timetable for her departure: She will resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7 with a leadership contest in the following week.

“I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist party on Friday, 7 June so that a successor can be chosen,” May said outside 10 Downing Street.

May’s departure will deepen the Brexit crisis as a new leader is likely to want a more decisive split, raising the chances of a confrontation with the European Union and a snap parliamentary election.

British shoppers paused for breath in April after months of strong buying, according to official data that showed continued underlying strength of consumer spending during the Brexit crisis.

Monthly retail sales volumes were flat last month, the Office for National Statistics said, compared with a median forecast for a 0.3% decline in a poll of economists.

But during the three months to April sales increased 1.8%, the fastest growth by this measure since August last year.

Consumer spending has been a relative bright spot for the British economy, contrasting with businesses cutting on investment throughout last year and slower global growth.

Compared with April 2018, sales were up by 5.2% after a 6.7% annual rise in March, better than expected in the poll.

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