Theresa May hits back at Tory Brexiteers and says their vision could put Union at risk

Posted On: 
19th July 2018

Theresa May will hit back at her Tory Brexiteer critics and warn them that their vision of life outside the EU could put the future of the United Kingdom at risk.

Theresa May will insist there will be no hard border in Ireland after Brexit.
PA Images

In a hard-hitting speech in Belfast, she will say that the Government's job "is not to deal with Brexit in theory, but to make a success of it in practice for all of our people".

The Prime Minister will insist that only the vision agreed by the Cabinet at Chequers two weeks ago - attacked by Conservative eurosceptics over the plan to maintain close economic ties with Brussels - will guarantee no return to a hard border in Ireland.

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Mrs May will say: "For all of us who care about our country, for all of us who want this Union of nations to thrive, that duty goes to the heart of what it means to be a United Kingdom and what it means to be a government.

"Our job is not to deal with Brexit in theory, but to make a success of it in practice for all of our people."

Mrs May has seen a raft of resignations from the Government, including Cabinet big beasts David Davis and Boris Johnson, in the wake of the Chequers summit two weeks ago.

But in her speech, she will insist that contrary to what her critics claim, her strategy will deliver on the referendum pledge to regain control of Britain's laws, money and borders.

And she will insist that the 100-page Brexit white paper published in the wake of the Chequers agreement is the only game in town.

"We can negotiate a new relationship with the EU that works in our mutual interest," she will say. "'One that honours the referendum result, gives us control of our money, our borders, and our laws.

"One that sets us on course for a prosperous future, protecting jobs and boosting prosperity. One that safeguards our Union and allows the whole UK to thrive in the years ahead.

"A brighter future for Northern Ireland – where we restore devolution and come together again as a community to serve the interests of the people. A brighter future for us all, where we put aside past divisions and work as one to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

"I am passionate about that brighter future and the possibilities that are within our grasp. As I said on the day I launched my campaign to become leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party: ‘the process of withdrawal will be complex, and it will require hard work, serious work, and detailed work.’

"The Government has done that work. The white paper is our plan for the future. It is the way to the stronger and brighter tomorrow that I know awaits the whole United Kingdom."