Theresa May prepares to meet her party faithful in latest Brexit twist

Oct 01, 2018, 11:35 IST | IANS

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson set the scene for a lively event in Britain's second biggest city by describing as deranged May's so-called Chequers plan for a soft-Brexit, Xinhua reported

Theresa May prepares to meet her party faithful in latest Brexit twist
Theresa May. Pic/AFP

British Prime Minister Theresa May has arrived in Birmingham for the last of Britain's big political conferences, with a determination to fight for her Brexit blueprint. Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson set the scene for a lively event in Britain's second biggest city by describing as deranged May's so-called Chequers plan for a soft-Brexit, Xinhua reported.

The Sunday Times gave a flavour of the possible atmosphere at the conference with its headline: "Boris Johnson vs Theresa May: now it's war". In a Sunday television interview, May insisted she would make a success of Britain's departure from the European Union regardless of what happens in the negotiations with Brussels.

May said in her interview: "I do believe in Brexit. Crucially, I believe in delivering Brexit in a way that respects the vote and delivers on the vote of the British people while also protecting our union, protecting jobs and ensuring we make a success of Brexit for the future.

"That's why I'm being ambitious for this country. That's why I want us to get a really good free trade deal with the European Union, which is what lies at the heart of the Chequers plan." She added: "We will make a success of Brexit, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations."

The Sunday Times said May has launched a concerted campaign to keep her job, announcing a crackdown on foreigners buying homes in Britain and revealing plans for a "historic" festival to celebrate Brexit Britain. May confronted her critics, accusing those who refuse to back her Chequers blueprint for Brexit of playing politics with Britain's future and undermining the national interest.

May's proposed $156 million festival, is designed to pump billions of dollars into the British economy, echoing Queen Victoria's Great Exhibition in 1851 and the post-war Festival of Britain in 1951. May said: "We want to showcase what makes our country great today. We want to capture that spirit for a new generation, celebrate our nation's diversity and talent, and mark this moment of national renewal with a once-in-a-generation celebration."

The Sunday Times says May will come under intense pressure from grassroots members to ditch her Chequers proposals. Ian Lavery, chair of the main opposition Labor Party accused May of tinkering around the edges rather than rebuilding Britain.

He said: "The Conservatives are clearly too busy fighting among themselves and have neither the ideas nor the desire to offer real solutions to the problems they have caused." In a separate interview with the Sunday Times, Johnson said: "There will be economic and political damage to the UK if we go with Chequers. It surrenders control."

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