British PM Theresa May will miss Davos economic forum to focus on Brexit

May (above) is scrambling to put together a new Brexit strategy.
May (above) is scrambling to put together a new Brexit strategy.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON (AFP) - British Prime Minister Theresa May will miss next week's annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos to focus on Brexit negotiations, sending ministers in her place, Downing Street said on Thursday (Jan 17).

"She will not be going to Davos. She will be focused on matters here," May's spokeswoman said, adding that "there will be government ministers attending".

Downing Street noted May's absence at the yearly gathering of world and industry leaders in the Swiss Alps resort was not unprecedented for a British premier.

Former prime minister David Cameron also missed the 2013 and 2015 events, the spokeswoman said.

The prime minister is scrambling to put together a new Brexit strategy after lawmakers on Tuesday sparked political turmoil by rejecting her draft withdrawal agreement with the EU.

Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc after 46 years on March 29.