Under pressure, Britain's May calls for her party to unite on Brexit

Theresa May to appear at Conservative Party’s annual meeting six months before Brexit

Theresa May to appear at Conservative Party’s annual meeting six months before Brexit

"Together let's build a better Britain", Mrs May concluded, giving the impression that, far from this being her final speech as leader, she meant to go on for longer than March 29, 2019, Brexit day.

Of course, her speech yesterday could not answer every question.

The Tory party conference has been dominated by Brexit, with former foreign secretary Boris Johnson launching a fresh attack against the Prime Minister's so-called Chequers plan for post-Brexit trade with the European Union, named after the British PM's country residence where it was agreed in July.

"Politicians telling people they got it wrong the first time and should try again. think for a moment what it would do to faith in our democracy", she said, referring to the "latest plan of holding a second referendum" which was called "People's Vote".

"Those of us who do respect the result, whichever side of the question we stood on two years ago, need to come together now".

"A decade after the financial crash, people need to know that the austerity it led to is over", she said.

Her words were aimed at easing the growing frustration of some Conservatives who openly say their party is meandering without substantive new ideas, unable to set an agenda amid their divisive feuds over how to depart the EU.

Pro-Brexit legislator James Duddridge on Wednesday called the Brexit negotiations "an absolute disaster" and said he had added his name to a list of Conservative lawmakers demanding a confidence vote in the prime minister.

Her spokesman declined to comment on Duddridge's move.

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But Wednesday's speech seemed to have gone down well among the party faithful.

Jeremy Hunt, her foreign minister, said on Twitter: "Congratulations Theresa May for a remarkable speech delivered with humor and passion".

Businesses are increasingly anxious for clarity as they try to plan for how Britain's departure from the European Union will affect supply chains and tariffs in the months ahead. "The red line is blood red", she told the BBC.

"If we all go off in different directions in pursuit of our own visions of the ideal Brexit, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all", she said. "But my job as prime minister is to do what I believe to be in the national interest".

On Tuesday (2 October), Boris Johnson attempted to rouse the government and delegates to "chuck Chequers" and instead pursue either a free trade deal modelled on the EU-Canada trade pact or a "no deal" scenario with EU-UK trade conducted on WTO terms.

May and her team face weeks of hard conversations with Brussels, especially after Hunt offended some in the bloc by comparing the EU to the old Soviet Union in asserting that the EU was trying to "punish" any member seeking to leave it. 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".

At home it won't be any easier.

The EU rejected London's previous fix for Ireland last June because it envisaged only a time-limited emergency border backstop and assumed all of the United Kingdom would remain in the EU's customs area for a while after Brexit.

Calling May's plan, also known as the Chequers Plan, a "cheat", Johnson said: "If we cheat the electorate (with the plan), we will escalate the sense of mistrust".

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