May: no-deal Brexit would mean tariffs

Birmingham England. The Conservative Party Conference 2018 is taking place at Birmingham's International Convention Centre from September 30 to October 3

Even seasoned political journalists were heard saying "Who?" when the Attorney General took to the stage as the Prime Minister's warm up act.

In her address to the party this week, Mrs May called for unity, and said all sides needed to compromise over Brexit, or they could put Britain's withdrawal from the European Union at risk.

And you've got to wonder if there might be a compromise down the line, although that could be embarrassing given the kind of speech that she just gave. But as she emerged to the strains of her favourite song, Abba's Dancing Queen, she looked like she was having the time of her life. Many Conservatives expect her to face a leadership challenge soon after Britain leaves the bloc - or even before. Johnson's speech was also created to boost confidence around Britain's post-Brexit future. There is nothing factually wrong with her statement, however the level of vagueness surrounding Brexit has not changed, ever since the beginning of the Leave campaign. But nothing has changed. And the two main solutions offered - closing the border, or adding checks on goods that cross the Irish Sea - have proven to be nonstarters so far. Although, added the Guardian, there is quite a lot of skepticism about whether she can deliver. "There are plenty of prominent people in British politics who want to stop Brexit in its tracks", she warned.

Namechecking Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister from 1979 to 1990 who remains a hero to many in the party, he called on the party to build more houses and, while courting business, he struck out at bankers over the 2008 financial crisis. She also threw in that a decade of austerity was finally over for Britain.

The so-called "freedom rally" in front of a packed 1,500 auditorium had the desired effect of plonking Mr Johnson in the full glare of the media spotlight for a full 48 hours and thereby eclipsing the entire Tory frontbench on the official stage.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Mrs May's claim "lacked credibility" when there was a £6 billion black hole in budgets for children's services and councils, and 75% of this year's welfare cuts were yet to come. "It is in the national interest", she told the conference Wednesday.

"Austerity is not an economic necessity". Instead choosing to focus on the Conservative domestic record in government, the speech was light on policy and announcements, announcing only a freeze in fuel duty, extra money for cancer treatment and extra borrowing for housebuilding.

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However, Foster was unequivocal in rejecting any solution that created a de facto border between Britain and Northern Ireland. When asked if she was prepared to vote down PM May on a Brexit deal, she said: "We don't want to be in that position".

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The former foreign secretary, with his colourful turn of phrase and humorous flourishes, can certainly hold an audience as he showed earlier this week but as a party leader he would be disastrous.

She painted an optimistic picture of post-divorce Britain, saying "our future is full of promise".

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 past year. "Trapped by the rabid ideologues of the Conservative right-wing, Mrs May has been driven to illiberal extremes on Brexit, welfare and immigration".

Mrs May said: "There is a government cap on how much they can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets to fund new developments".

"These are the same people who explicitly told the electorate that there was no going back, that voting leave meant leaving the customs union and the single market, and that there was no way they would be asked again".

She said that "leaving without a deal - introducing tariffs and costly checks at the border - would be a bad outcome for the United Kingdom and the EU" - though she refused to rule it out.

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