May appeals for party unity at 'toughest phase' of Brexit

May appeals for party unity at 'toughest phase' of Brexit

May appeals for party unity at 'toughest phase' of Brexit

And after a day in which Boris Johnson stole the show at the conference with his "Chuck Chequers" onslaught, the Prime Minister will attempt to re-assert her authority.

Theresa May won a skirmish in her running battle with Boris Johnson today - as activists queued round the block for her speech to conference.

Eurosceptic MPs led by former foreign minister Boris Johnson have held a string of packed fringe meetings to argue against May's proposal for Britain to follow European Union trade rules on goods after it leaves.

"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 said in a clear nod to euroskeptic MPs who have published their alternatives plan for leaving the EU.

Though the next election is not due until 2022, the subtext to May's speech was that the government could fall earlier if it fails to win agreement on Brexit both in Brussels and Westminster.

As part of the seven days of intense negotiating activity, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will consult with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and EU President Donald Tusk in Brussels on Thursday.

"I think you should be allowed to have a belief, otherwise we would live in a very intolerant world wouldn't we?" she concluded. "But if we stick together and hold our nerve I know we can get a deal that delivers for Britain".

And in another rallying cry for unity, she repeatedly attacked the main opposition Labour Party, saying their policies, including a renationalisation of mail, rail and utilities, would mean increased taxes and business flight.

In his letter to Sir Graham Brady the chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, Mr Duddridge - who served as a whip and junior minister under David Cameron - said the Conservatives need "a strong leader, someone who believes in Brexit and someone to deliver what the electorate voted for".

"Whoever leads the Conservative Party we will work with as it's in the national interest", she said.


"Turns out there is a plan".

The irony of the statement seemed lost on the DUP leader.

Foster has also said she has "concerns" over the Chancellor's claim that there may have to be a hard border in Ireland in the event of no deal.

"It is no surprise that we have had a range of different views expressed this week", she said. She reasserted her commitment to finding a realistic compromise with the European Union - unlike some of her conservative rivals, who she said "are not acting in the national interest, but their own political interest". "First, honoring the result of the referendum. and secondly, to seek a good trading and security relationship with our neighbors after we have left".

But she did her best to appear carefree 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 a year ago.

The official agenda of the bloc's executive Commission, published on Tuesday, shows it will discuss an "outline of a new partnership with the United Kingdom" on October 10.

Ms Foster had said it was "deeply frustrating" to hear remain voters and European Union officials talk about Northern Ireland and saying the Belfast Agreement could not be changed.

After a meeting with May in Birmingham, DUP leader Arlene Foster tweeted: "NO border in the Irish Sea will ever be acceptable to unionists throughout the United Kingdom. regulatory or otherwise".

"So this is our proposal".

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