May triumphs at party conference, but crucial Brexit showdown looms on horizon

06 October, 2018, 00:06 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Jeremy Wright speaks at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham

EU President Donald Tusk warned Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday that, with her Conservative Party conference finished, she must make a serious effort to negotiate a Brexit deal.

"If we all go off in different directions in pursuit of our own vision of the flawless Brexit, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all", she warned a Conservative party beset by internal bickering.

But she did her best to appear relaxed as she sashayed on to the stage to Abba hit Dancing Queen and joked about the coughing fit and collapsing stage backdrop which marred her calamitous conference speech in Manchester previous year.

In her crucial keynote speech to the Conservative conference in Birmingham, Mrs May said next year's post-Brexit Spending Rreview will set out a programme of increased investment for public services, as a mark that the decade of cuts following the financial crash is coming to an end.

Then the thing we saw immediately afterwards was that tweet about the Strepsils and the speech and we laughed along with her and she showed that humorous side of her.

"And there's another reason why we need to come together".

Theresa May stole the show on Wednesday by entering the stage to an ABBA belter, which we're sure you've seen somewhere on your social timelines.

"Despite the United Kingdom government's rejection of the original EU backstop proposal, we will not give up seeking a workable solution that fully respects the Good Friday Agreement as well as the integrity of the Single Market and the customs union".


"If we stick together and hold our nerve, I know we can get a deal that delivers for Britain".

"But my job as Prime Minister is to do what I believe to be in the national interest", she said. She also signalled an end to the almost decade-long austerity drive.

The heat she faces from some in the party was underlined less than an hour before her speech when Conservative lawmaker James Duddridge said he had submitted a letter calling on her to resign.

People are entitled to express their view at fringe meetings, he said, but predicted people would be "rallying behind" Mrs May when she delivers her speech.

A year ago everything that could go wrong did go wrong, with May struggling to make her speech because of a throat infection, and suffering of the platform backdrop falling apart. "Firmness of objective, clarity and conviction - European Union friends do not underestimate!"

Johnson and others say such a close partnership would ignore the wishes of voters who backed the Brexit referendum in 2016.

"It was a great speech, he was optimistic, he talked about Conservative values, and he talked about the opportunities if we do Brexit properly", Richard Tice, co-chairman of campaign group Leave means Leave, said after Johnson's speech.

Speaking on BBC's The News Quiz, panellists turned on the Prime Minister mocking her dancing. Acknowledging that "there are plenty of prominent people in British politics - in Parliament and out of it - who want to stop Brexit in its tracks", she dismissed demands for a second referendum - called the "people's vote" - on the ground that people are now more aware of the cost of Brexit. Taking back control of our borders, laws and money.

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