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UK PM to skip Davos over Brexit uncertainty


London: British Prime Minister Theresa May will not attend this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to focus on resolving the Brexit crisis following the House of Commons' overwhelming rejection of her plan earlier this week.

The UK leader will remain in London next week to focus on "matters at home", a Downing Street spokesperson told CNN on Thursday. The government will be represented by "senior ministers", likely to be Chancellor Philip Hammond and Business Secretary Greg Clark, added the spokesperson.

The World Economic Forum is scheduled to begin on January 22 and will run till January 25.

The Downing Street announcement came following a turbulent week for May during which her Brexit plan was dismissed by the UK Parliament. Her government was later subjected to a no-confidence vote which it survived by a narrow margin.

May was expected to hold calls with EU leaders in the coming days. She will publish a revised Brexit blueprint on Monday, before the Parliament debates it on January 29.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, currently without any arrangements in place for doing so. 

Experts warned that the UK's failure to secure a formal deal could lead to travel chaos, food shortages and a catastrophic economic slump in the British economy.

Now, May only has just 70 days to work together with opposition parties, as well as several competing factions within her own Conservative party, to secure a compromise Brexit deal that can win a majority in the Parliament.

May joins US President Donald Trump on the list of Western leaders too embattled by domestic politics to attend the elite gathering. French President Emmanuel Macron will also skip the ceremony. 

Last week, Trump announced that he would cancel his own Davos trip due to a standoff over border security funding. Both leaders attended the event last year.

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