May vows 'austerity is over' - but should we believe her?

Ivan Schwartz
October 7, 2018

Former British foreign minister Boris Johnson called on the governing Conservative Party yesterday to return to its traditional values of low taxes and strong policing, pressing his challenge to British Prime Minister Theresa May. This brings about a critique I have towards May's claim - whereas in the long run, the United Kingdom economy will be able to compensate for the initial drop in GDP, we should not disregard the short-term consequences - 'In the long-run we are all dead' famously said John M. Keynes.

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.

"If we all go off in different directions in pursuit of our own visions of the flawless Brexit, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all", she said. "It will be hard in the beginning, but the ingenuity and resilience of the british people, will help us to overcome" the trials of Brexit.

After last year's coughing fit at Theresa May's flagship speech at the Conservative Party Conference, there was no doubt that this year, anything would be an improvement.

May said that leadership is doing what you believe to be right, and having the courage and determination to see it through, and that's what she's been doing on Brexit. Instead choosing to focus on the Conservative domestic record in government, the speech was light on policy and announcements, announcing only a freeze in fuel duty, extra money for cancer treatment and extra borrowing for housebuilding.

She promised to "make markets work in the interests of ordinary people again", citing Government initiatives to toughen corporate governance rules, provide protection for gig economy workers and cap energy prices.

Theresa May will round off the Tory conference with an attempt to raise party morale and convince activists that the Conservatives are about more than Brexit.

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Less than three weeks before a make-or-break European Union summit in Brussels, May said divorce talks were entering their "toughest phase".

For millions of young people all they have known is Tory Britain. She announced local councils would be free to borrow as much as they wanted too for a massive social house building program. And May and the other Conservatives, I think they know they need to stick together.

"We will help you get on the housing ladder".

He also said that if the country bottled Brexit now, the people will find it hard to forgive.

In a "no-deal" world the most likely impact would be a drastic fall in consumer and business confidence in the months following Brexit. May is optimistic, apparently, but only if her vision is upheld by everyone; the Conservatives, the Labour Party with its sizable minority and a mandate from members to push for a second referendum if needs be, and the great British public, as well as Northern Ireland. "When we've secured a good Brexit deal for Britain, at the Spending Review next year we will set out our approach for the future". So, it is no surprise that we have had a range of different views expressed this week.

In response to claims that May's leadership lacks optimism and passion, the PM is expected to tell delegates in Birmingham: "I passionately believe that our best days lie ahead of us and that our future is full of promise".

Other reports by GizPress

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