On Wednesday, Theresa May will become the second female prime minister in British history, following in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher, who led her country for three terms, from 1979 to 1990. She will succeed David Cameron, who is stepping down after six years.

May, who has served since 2010 as Britain’s Home Secretary, faces major challenges when she takes the reins at Downing Street. The new PM will oversee Britain’s exit from the European Union, a two-year process which begins as soon as the new government triggers Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon.

Ironically, May was a “Remainer” ahead of the June 23 referendum on EU membership, supporting Britain staying inside the EU. She will now be in charge of Brexit, tasked with uniting a fractured ruling Conservative Party, as well as a divided nation, and steering Britain in fresh waters outside of a declining European Union that has become a byword for economic turmoil.

This is a moment for strong, bold leadership from a new prime minister with a reputation for toughness and resolve.

As prime minister, Theresa May will lead a Britain that is once again a truly sovereign nation, free to shape its own destiny and chart a new path as a global force.

As a member of Parliament for nearly 20 years, May brings a great deal of political experience in a wide range of positions to her new position. She will head the world’s fifth largest economy, with one of the most powerful militaries in the world, and a permanent seat at the U.N. Security Council.

Freed of the shackles of the EU, Britain is in a strong position to project power and influence on the world stage, alongside the United States.

The US-UK Special Relationship will be strengthened rather than weakened by Brexit, and offers far greater opportunities for collaboration between London and Washington.

For the first time in over 40 years, Britain will be free to negotiate its own free trade deals. Building a free trade area with the United States will be a top priority.

As prime minister, Theresa May will lead a Britain that is once again a truly sovereign nation, free to shape its own destiny and chart a new path as a global force.

She should follow the example of the Iron Lady before her, who led her nation with great courage, conviction and fortitude, based upon robust conservative principles, and a willingness to always listen to the beating heart of the British people.

Nile Gardiner is Director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation and a former aide to Margaret Thatcher. Follow him on Twitter@NileGardiner.