End divisions or put Brexit at risk, British PM May tells party

04 October, 2018, 13:07 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Arlene Foster the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party walks through the venue of the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham Britain

The UK PM Theresa May is on the wires now, via Reuters, delivering a keynote speech on the final day of the Conservatives Party annual conference.

As May gave her speech to end a fractious annual conference of her Conservative party - where hard Brexit rebels have challenged her efforts to stay close to the European Union - officials and diplomats in Brussels and London gear up for a final push in negotiations.

Coming out on stage to the strains of Abba's Dancing Queen, a nod to her impromptu dance routine with schoolchildren on a recent trip to South Africa, she re-enacted the moves on her way to the lectern to tumultuous applause.

"We will not betray the result of the referendum and we will never break up our country", she said, ruling out any Brexit deal that would weaken the union between the British mainland and Northern Ireland.

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

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"We are entering the toughest stage of the negotiations".

Much of the speech was devoted to attacks on the Labour party, who had proposed a radical agenda including the renationalisation of public utilities, which Mrs May said would cost the country £1 trillion. "But if we stick together and hold our nerve I know we can get a deal that delivers for Britain".

She also tried to return to the message she gave when she was appointed prime minister in 2016, promising to help those who feel "left behind" and pledging to end her government's austerity push after almost a decade of spending cuts.

Hard-left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, she said, would "outsource our conscience to the Kremlin".

"The chief concern for the EU right now is reaching a deal on the Withdrawal Agreement that would provide us with a two year transition period in which to set out the future relationship between the EU and the UK", State Secretary for European Affairs Ales Chmelar said, adding divorce must cover an Irish fix.

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Meanwhile, Conservative MP James Duddridge, submitted a letter of no confidence vote shortly before May's keynote speech in Birmingham.

"My only word of caution, because like many grassroots Conservatives I'm a strong, strong Brexiteer, so I'm hoping with the next round of talks the prime minister goes ahead with the same vehement passion she showed in the auditorium".

So, it is no surprise that we have had a range of different views expressed this week.

May faces challenges from her own party and from the small party propping up her minority government, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which has repeated that it will not accept a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Pro-Brexit party activist Paul Whitehouse told Reuters: "She did enough to rally the grassroots and that will be momentum enough for cracks to be paved over to a certain extent".

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But he did insist that the Foden is very much in his thoughts. "I believe too much in that team, in those guys", he said. I expect him back when he's fit , which should be quite soon". "AGUERO is struggling with some problems in his feet.

However, EU negotiators are also keen to maintain the "sequencing" used to keep up pressure on London to first deal with the Irish issue in order to ensure a smooth exit from the bloc before Brussels will fully engage on a future trade deal. This is not taking back control: "this is forfeiting control", he said. An undeterred May called on her colleagues to work towards making the Conservatives a party "not for the few, not even for the many but for everyone who is willing to work hard and do their best". Good for jobs, good for the Union.

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