Unless May surprises everyone at the conference and introduces a new alternative Brexit plan that brings the party together, this is likely to happen.
As Conference season begins, Conservative assaults on Labour optimise and Donald Tusk repeatedly seeks to refute and apparently humiliate Theresa May’s Brexit proposals. Even before the Tory Conference, to be held from 1-3 October, begins, there is no good news about settling the Irish border or leaving the single market. The Chequers Plan will the bone of contention at the Tory conference, unless Theresa May surprises everyone at the Conference and introduces a new alternative Brexit plan that brings the party together.
May has been shoring up her position as leader and Prime Minister by appointing co-chairs for five new task forces; position is a critical harbinger of support.
Theresa May appeared on BBC’s Panorama, to be interviewed by Nick Robinson, and essentially to convince viewers/voters that the Brexit plan is the Chequers Plan. Panorama revealed the PM at work and at home. It is arguable how successful it was, as Conservatives remain inherently unconvinced. A new meme has been originated by Michael Gove, an architect of Brexit, that any Brexit deal that is agreed on, could be altered by future Prime Ministers. Dramatists talk about “crashing out” of the EU and “falling off the cliff edge”, but perhaps it is realistic to acknowledge that Brexiting might be an ongoing process.
The programme showed Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, being “smuggled” into a No.10 Cabinet meeting through the backdoor to forecast post-Brexit economic gloom and doom. One person known to this reporter has potentially joined the dots and surmised a theory: Mark Carney was rumoured to be a leadership candidate for the Canadian Liberals; Carney has extended his stay at the bank of England till 2020 to enable a smooth Brexit; Carney is becoming a British citizen; next UK election is scheduled for May 2022; might Carney see himself as the leader of a new political party that offers a platform to Remainers and snowflakes from the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties. In the past new Liberal parties have appealed on social policy and political correctness, but been let down by their economic policy, could Carney have ambitions to set the record straight?
James Cleverly MP and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party gave an interview to Katy Balls and James Forsyth of the Spectator. Like many people looking to compliment the PM, he said she is a hard worker, but lacks political charisma. Cleverly plans to welcome millennials and the young to the party with a new positive message that was absent in the last Tory campaign; he wants to “heal the wounds of the Brexit wars” and has also hinted that a “course correction” may follow any Brexit agreement. Originally a Brexiteer, Cleverly has proved himself a loyal supporter of the PM, but this interview shows a tiny chink in his loyalty. The “course correction” is likely to be a stratagem to get the final withdrawal agreement passed by Parliament.
Cleverly is very popular, his back story is attractive (army boy with mother from Sierra Leonne). He is well known for being amusing and engaging on social media. If there were a general election following Brexit day on 29 March 2019, James Cleverly’s name will likely be added to the many leadership hopefuls from the Cabinet. Remember, in UK it is rarely the leader of the pack that is victorious; this is how David Cameron first emerged.