British Prime Minister Theresa May faces Brexit opposition at Tory rally

British Prime Minister Theresa May faces Brexit opposition at Tory rally
Britains May calls on party to unite behind Brexit plan, makes appeal to critics
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the Europa building in Brussels on Monday, March 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

LONDON — Ex-UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has branded British Prime Minister Theresa Mays plan for leaving the European Union "deranged," fueling tensions as the ruling Conservative Party holds its annual conference.

Johnson told the Sunday Times that Mays Brexit plan wont work, particularly proposals that would require Britain and the EU to collect each others tariffs.

Video: Brexit clashes on day one of Tory Party conference

"It is entirely preposterous," he said. "The idea that we could ask customs officers in Dubrovnik and Santander to charge British-only tariffs is deranged, and nobody thinks it can work. There will be economic and political damage to the U.K."

Latvias ambassador to the UK, Baiba Braže, in response to a tweet highlighting Hunts comparison of the EU to the Soviet Union, said: Soviets killed, deported, exiled and imprisoned 100 thousands of Latvias inhabitants after the illegal occupation in 1940, and ruined lives of three generations, while the EU has brought prosperity, equality, growth, respect.

Boris Johnsons super-Canada plan could never work. Heres why

May is under siege from members of her own party as the Conservatives open their annual conference Sunday in the central England city of Birmingham.

He will add: Economic freedom goes hand in hand with political freedom and above all, the belief in the power of enterprise as the route to unleash talent and to improve lives. Thats why we back business, as the cornerstone of a successful economy; as a force for good in our society; and as an essential expression of our values.

While most conferences offer a chance for the leader to rally the troops, Mays goal at this four-day gathering is to survive amid deepening opposition to her Brexit plan and growing support for a second referendum on Britains EU membership.

Mays plan would keep Britain in the EUs single market for goods while letting the country write its own rules on services and strike free-trade deals with third parties. EU leaders have rejected that idea, saying the U.K. wants to retain the benefits of EU membership without accepting its responsibilities.

Video: May and senior Tories hit back at Johnson over claims Brexit plans deranged | ITV News

Hard-line Brexit supporters also oppose the prime ministers plan because they say it would force Britain to follow rules set in Brussels, undercutting promises that the country would regain control of its own laws after Brexit.

Under Ceta the EU checks products coming from Canada to ensure they do not originate in any other country – because if they did, they would be subject to EU tariffs. The same would happen if the UK had a Canada-style deal with the EU. Products exported from the UK to the EU would need to be subject to EU customs controls so the EU could ensure they were not originally from other countries that did not have free trade agreements with the EU – in effect, to prevent attempts to use the UK as a backdoor to avoid tariffs. These customs controls would probably mean delays at the UK/EU border, causing problems for UK manufacturers.

Video: Theresa May heads to party conference as opposition to Chequers plan mounts

May insisted that her plans, ratified by the Cabinet during a summer meeting at the prime ministers country estate, Chequers, remain viable, despite its rejection by EU leaders.

Canada sells 76% of it products to the US. Because of this, many Canadian standards are similar to or the same as the USs but different from the EUs. If Canadian companies want to sell products to the EU, they have to prove those products conform with EU product safety, health and environmental rules. This involves extra bureaucracy, controls and paperwork. If the UK had a Canada-style deal with the EU, UK companies would have to do the same. This would mean no frictionless trade between the UK and the EU. Also, UK companies exporting to the EU would have to comply with EU rules without having any say in setting them.

"Where they have problems, lets actually hear them. And its only then that you can actually identify what the issue really is, where there are issues that lie behind this," she told the BBCs Andrew Marr program on Sunday. "My mood is to listen to what the EU have to say about their concerns and to sit down and talk them through with them."

Asked about Johnsons claim that her plan was "deranged," May said: "I have just explained to you why I believe that the plan that we have put forward is a plan that is in the national interest."

So I would implore Conservative MPs to start talking facts not fiction, stop the peacocking and think of the people of the UK and the human cost of the various Brexit plans they have. Cutting through the bluster and noise, there appears to me only one real choice. If the UK wants to leave the EU, we need to stay in the single market. If the politicians come to their senses and realise this too, then they must let the people of Britain decide if this is what they want or if they want to remain in the EU, fight for reform from within, and keep a deal which has kept Britain prosperous and peaceful.

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The IEAs plan would give the UK a basic free trade agreement for goods, while allowing the UK government to simultaneously discuss long-term free trade deals with countries including the US, China and India. On the question of the Irish border, Singham said the IEAs proposal was designed to avoid a hard border in the island of Ireland. This would involve a range of elements, he claimed, including the use of technology. Basically, this would see the UK accepting a Canada-style deal.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for her appearance on The Andrew Marr Show, during the annual Conservative Party Conference, in Birmingham, England, on Sept. 30, 2018.

British Prime Minister Theresa May called on her party on Sunday to unite behind her plan to leave the European Union, making a direct appeal to critics by saying their desire for a free trade deal was at the heart of her Brexit proposals.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Boris Johnson, then foreign secretary, with Theresa May at Downing Street. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images Even his former cabinet colleague David Davis criticised the ideas he raised in the interview: He wants to cancel HS2 and spend it on a bridge to Northern Ireland. I dont want to do that. I think one of the blights of British politics is politicians having fantastic ideas that cost a fortune and dont do much good.

Boris Johnson: Chequers plan is deranged

At the start of what is set to be one of the Conservative Partys stormiest annual conferences, Mays plans were once again attacked by two former ministers, with her ex-foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, calling them deranged.

Philip Hammonds speech at noon. The chancellors speech is usually the second biggest highlight of Tory conference, after the prime ministers. But theres a crowded field this year, with grassroots favourites Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg touring the fringes. Hammond will try to convince delegates – and the country – that the Tories remain the party of business. Hes almost certain to tell them that the economy depends on Mays plans for Brexit, too.

But she also won strong backing from other Brexit supporting ministers, with trade minister Liam Fox and foreign minister Jeremy Hunt turning their anger against the EU, for taunting Theresa May, one of the most unfailingly polite people.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Gavin Williamson at the party conference. Photograph: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock This included improved welfare support for armed forces members, including career development plans and ID cards to allow veterans to show they have been in the forces when they are back in civilian life. He also announced a scheme for so-called cyber cadets, to learn how to protect the country from cyber-attacks.

Just six months before Britain is due to leave the EU in the countrys biggest shift in foreign and trade policy in more than 40 years, the debate over how to leave the bloc is still raging in the centre-right Conservative Party, and even in government.

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Mays already fragile leadership was put under further pressure this month when the EU rejected parts of the so-called Chequers plan. But she put a positive spin on those talks, saying she was ready to consider the EUs concerns.

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My message to my party is lets come together and get the best deal for Britain, May told the BBC in the central English city of Birmingham.

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At the heart of the Chequers plan is a free trade deal, a free trade area and frictionless trade … Chequers at the moment is the only plan on the table that delivers on the Brexit vote … and also delivers for the people of Northern Ireland.

The Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, also made a thinly veiled dig at Johnson in her interview on Sunday morning, especially his admission that he did not fully appreciate the implications of the withdrawal agreement, where leaders agreed to implement a backstop to keep Northern Ireland in the customs union and parts of the single market to avoid a hard border, should no deal be reached.

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May has shown little sign of shifting away from her Chequers plan, named after her country residence where she hashed out an agreement on Brexit with her ministers in July, despite growing criticism that her proposals offer the worst of all worlds.

On Sunday, May said she was the one ensuring Brexit could be delivered. I do believe in Brexit, but crucially I believe in delivering Brexit in a way that respects the vote and delivers on behalf of the British people, while also protecting our union, protecting jobs and ensuring we make a success of it, she said.

Johnson, who quit Mays cabinet after Chequers was agreed, called her plans deranged and attacked the prime minister for not believing in Brexit.

He, and the former Brexit minister David Davis, are pushing for a Canada-style free trade deal with the EU – a proposal May says will split Northern Ireland from mainland Britain by making the British province adhere to different customs rules.

The Labour chair, Ian Lavery, said the interview showed May was tinkering around the edges rather than rebuilding Britain. The Tories 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, he said.

Michael Gove, Mays environment minister, dismissed his former Brexit allys proposals to leave the EU, which have been dubbed super Canada.

If you have a free trade agreement, you have to agree the rules youre going to trade on. Canada for the UK is not on the table from the EU. What is on the table is a basic free trade deal for Great Britain with Northern Ireland remaining in the customs union and single market.

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Im in favour of a super Britain deal, he told an event on the sidelines of the conference. The prime minister has put forward a proposal, which I support.

Johnson, the most keenly watched challenger to the prime minister, has called for May to ditch her plan and broker a deal similar to the one the EU has with Canada, but which would require customs checks on the Northern Irish border, which he says could be simplified with technology.

Mays team had hoped the partys conference would give her a platform to renew her pledge to help those people who are just about managing, trying to pull the focus away from Brexit and on to a more domestic agenda where some party officials fear the main opposition Labour Party is gaining the upper hand.

"Where they have problems, lets actually hear them. And its only then that you can actually identify what the issue really is, where there are issues that lie behind this," she told the BBCs Andrew Marr program on Sunday. "My mood is to listen to what the EU have to say about their concerns and to sit down and talk them through with them."

But her first announcement – for an additional levy on foreign home buyers – did little to reset the conversation, with Sunday dominated again with Brexit, a possible leadership campaign and the prospect of an early election.

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The conference has become the chance for those ministers with leadership ambitions to parade in front of the party faithful. Johnsons successor at the foreign office, Jeremy Hunt, gave a speech that, for some, sent a strong signal of intent.

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Johnsons interview in the Sunday Times in which he said, unlike May, he was a true Brexit believer, was also seen by many to be the start of a campaign for the top job – something that angered some Conservatives who are critical of the former foreign minister.

Ian Lavery, chairman of the opposition Labour Party, said the Conservatives were clearly too busy fighting amongst themselves and have neither the ideas nor the desire to offer real solutions to the problems they have caused.

LONDON — Ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has branded British Prime Minister Theresa Mays plan for leaving the European Union "deranged," fueling tensions as the ruling Conservative Party holds its annual conference.

Theresa May vows she DOES believe in Brexit and insists no one wants a deal more than her

Even though May has stuck to her Chequers plan and on Sunday won at least the outward support of most of her ministers, the EU rubbished some of her proposals at a summit in Austria this month.

Hard-line Brexit supporters also oppose the prime ministers plan because they say it would force Britain to follow rules set in Brussels, undercutting promises that the country would regain control of its own laws after Brexit.

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We have a right to expect our EU partners to engage seriously, and with respect, on our shared future relationship, Fox said. Im sure I wasnt the only one after Salzburg to feel that the taunting of Theresa May, one of the most unfailingly polite people I have ever met, was absolutely beyond the pale.