Johnson assaults May's Brexit plan at fractious party meeting


His remarks came one day ahead of the long-expected speech of the Prime Minister at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Xinhua news agency reported.

Dancing onto the stage in the city of Birmingham to ABBA's "Dancing Queen" and a standing ovation, Mrs May poked fun at herself after her dance moves were mocked on a trip to Africa and after last year's conference when her speech was disrupted by a coughing fit, a stage intruder and a collapsing background set.

His big speech was bookended by protestations that, yes, Philip Hammond was right and he will never be Prime Minister, and that Tories should "softly, quietly and sensibly" back Theresa May to "chuck Chequers" in favour of her "original plan".

At the conference, May called Brexit a "moment of opportunity" but was forced to urge supporters to get behind her as she heads into what would be the "toughest phase" of negotiations. "No, because I think we probably can't have the self-indulgence of a leadership challenge". That "If we stick together and hold our nerve I know we can get a deal that delivers for Britain"? And last week, I was at the Labour Party conference up in Liverpool.

A country of austerity, zero hours contracts, huge student debt, ridiculous rent and house prices, awful public transport, environmental damage, and social destruction, not forgetting adding a £1trillion to the National Debt, and Bob says we should be anxious about Labour.

"I passionately believe that our best days lie ahead of us and that our future is full of promise", she will say when she addresses delegates at 10 a.m. United Kingdom time. But instead of the available support coalescing around a candidate, the party is splintered: on Brexit, on the domestic agenda and what they want the personality of their future leader to be. Forty-eight lawmakers would need to write such letters to trigger a vote of confidence in the leader. Sometimes it comes out, sometimes she hides it away, but she is a really strong woman, a really strong prime minister and I really hope that comes across in the speech.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan's post-Brexit "London is Open" campaign was also bastardised in May's speech when she declared: 'Britain under my Conservative government is open for business'. We are both reflecting what the British people want in Brexit.

James Forsyth, political editor of the Spectator magazine and a columnist at the Sun newspaper said: "May delivers one of her best speeches, and will send activists home in better heart than they expected this morning".

"Some markets are still not working in the interests of ordinary people", she said.

May and her team are braced for a gruelling set of discussions: with EU leaders, with her parliamentary partners in the DUP, and with the European Commission, all the while withstanding ferocious friendly fire.

A more risky alternative was her claim that British resilience could withstand a "no-deal" Brexit, even though initially the country will face economic difficulties, as a result of protectionist measures and checks at the border.

"Businesses wouldn't face costly checks when they export to the European Union, so they can invest with confidence".

She argues that her plan is the only way to avoid customs checks along the now invisible border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland - a development that would be troublesome for residents and businesses on both sides, and could undermine Northern Ireland's peace process. No taking Britain back to square one.

"The EU is adamant that you can't have the free movement of goods without accepting EU workers - that would break the rules of the club", NPR's Frank Langfitt explains. Good for jobs, good for the union.