We’ll deliver for Britain if we hold our nerve – Theresa May

Theresa May. File picture
Theresa May. File picture
Image: AFP

British Prime Minister Theresa May called on her Conservative Party on Wednesday to pull together and unite behind her plan to leave the European Union, saying “if we hold our nerve” she can win a deal that delivers for Britain.

On the final day of her party’s conference, May rallied members, trying to address their concerns that the Conservatives are becoming increasingly directionless under the weight of Brexit by calling on them to look to a brighter future.

Dancing onto the stage in Birmingham to Abba’s Dancing Queen to a standing ovation, May poked fun at herself after her dance moves were mocked on a trip to Africa.

It was a warm welcome for a leader whose fragile position was put under further pressure after the EU rejected parts of her so-called Chequers plan and critics stepped up calls for her to rethink her strategy for Brexit.

“If we all go off in different directions in pursuit of our own vision of the perfect Brexit, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all,” she said in a clear nod to eurosceptic legislators who have published their alternative plan for leaving the EU.

“And there’s another reason why we need to come together. We are entering the toughest part of the negotiations.

“What we are proposing is very challenging for the EU.

“But if we stick together and hold our nerve I know we can get a deal that delivers for Britain.”

She also tried to expand her domestic agenda, attacking the main opposition Labour Party by saying its policies, including the renationalisation of mail, rail and utilities, would mean increased taxes and drive away business.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, she said, would “outsource our conscience to the Kremlin”.

Her words were aimed at easing the growing frustration of some Conservatives who openly say their party is directionless, unable to set an agenda against the divisive rows over Brexit.

The pressure she is under from some in the party was underlined less than an hour before she was due to speak when Conservative legislator James Duddridge said he had submitted a letter to the party’s so-called 1922 committee, calling on her to resign.

Forty-eight legislators would need to write such letters to trigger a vote of confidence in the leader.