British Prime Minister Theresa May called for her party to come together to make a success of Brexit on the last day of the Conservative party congress yesterday.
Wishing to erase the memory of her nightmare speech in 2017, which was interrupted several times by coughing fits, Theresa May swayed onto the stage to Abba’s Dancing Queen at the convention centre in Birmingham.
“We are entering the most difficult phase of negotiations,” said the British leader. But if we stay together and keep our cool, I know we can get a good deal for the UK. “
“I believe passionately that the best is yet to come and that our future is full of promise,” she added. “It will be difficult at first, but the ingenuity and resilience of the British people will help us overcome” the challenge of Brexit.
The prime minister defended her Chequers plan, calling it a proposal “in the national interest”, which she said “respects”, the result of the 2016 referendum. The plan provides for a close economic relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU after the divorce by maintaining common rules on industrial goods and agricultural products. It has been rejected by the hard Brexit wing of her party and by Brussels which asked Ms May to review it by the next EU summit in mid October.
In Birmingham, the four days of the Congress exposed the divisions within the Tories. In the main auditorium of the convention center, official events, in which only the ministers spoke, brought forth a government determined to defend the prime minister and her proposal.
But in the adjoining halls, several influential MEPs, chiefly Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg, former Brexit Minister David Davis, and former British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson called for Chequers to be abandoned and propose instead a Free Trade Agreement similar to that signed between the European Union and Canada.