Mrs May, 59, will succeed David Cameron, who announced he was stepping down after losing the EU referendum. Britain's planned withdrawal has weakened the 28-nation bloc, created huge uncertainty over trade and investment, and shaken financial ...
Josh Earnest, Mr Obama's spokesman speaking at a press briefing at the White House:
What's Mr Obama's reaction to the news?
"President Obama had an opportunity to visit with Prime Minister Cameron at the Nato summit in Warsaw over the weekend. The two leaders sat next to each other for hours on end at that summit, so I know they had an opportunity to have a number of conversations. I'm not aware at that point however that Prime Minister Cameron shared his plans with president Obama. I've learned a lot about the British political process in just the past few hours, so it's my understanding that having one of the two competitors for the leadership of the Conservative Party drop out essentially made the choice a foregone conclusion. So my understanding is that there's some ceremonial steps that have to take place here. Ultimately this is a British political process that will follow the guidelines that are in place. The president continues though to rest on the principal that the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is a special one, and it is one that transcends the personalities or political parties of either country's leader. If in fact Theresa May is the next Prime Minister of the UK, the president is entirely confident that he and his successor will be able to coordinate effectively with her to not just protect but even advance the special relationship between our two countries."
Does he know Theresa May?
"The answer to that is yes, I don't know that they've had a detailed conversation. I know that she participated in the expanded bilateral meeting that President Obama had with Prime Minister Cameron when he was there earlier this spring. I only know that because I met her in the context of that meeting. But I don't know that they've had an extended conversation before."
On Brexit means Brexit
"The president's views on this have not change... He's spoken at length on this... Our expectation is that the Brexit process will be one that will commence when leaders in the UK invoke Article 50 of the EU charter, and that will precipitate a negotiation between EU officials and UK officials - should be done in orderly fashion that doesn't disrupt either EU or UK economies."
Angela Merkel has said Britain should clarify quickly how it wants to shape its future relationship with the European Union and that Berlin wanted London to remain an important partner of the bloc.
"But of course the EU and the remaining 27 member states also have to protect their interests," Merkel said during a speech at the annual diplomatic corps reception in Meseberg, north of Berlin.
"For example, whoever would like to have free access to the European internal market will also have to accept all basic freedoms in return, including the free movement of people."
Some British politicians have suggested Britain could have full EU market access, including for its vital financial sector, while limiting the number of EU nationals who enter the country.
The EU's single market aims to guarantee the free movement of goods, capital, services and people among the EU's 28 member states.
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