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Theresa May at Policy Exchange, wondering which policies she can exchange for peace within her own political party.

This Site has mentioned the Tory problem with Brexit before, I think – but let’s make it clear: Any announcement Theresa Maybe makes will trigger division among her own party.

Conservative backbenchers were at each other’s throats over the EU before the referendum and they will be again. So will Mrs May’s cabinet, as it contains both Remainers and Quitters.

The longer she delays any policy announcements, the more she manufactures vacuous soundbites like “Brexit means Brexit”, or “Red, white and blue Brexit”, the worse it is likely to be for her and her party in the end.

The Conservative Party is, in fact, far more divided over Brexit than Labour ever could be; divisions or contradictions in Labour have to be manufactured by right-wing journalists, as we have seen today (January 10).

Perhaps those journalists would be better-employed demanding no more delay from Mrs May. Let the Tory blood-letting commence.

The reason why Theresa May is so silent on her Brexit plans is because, as soon as she comes off the fence, the Tory party civil war on Europe will flare up again in public.

The divisions between those who consider it vital that Britain continues to participate in the single market and those who are determined to wrench Britain away from any connection to Europe run deep.

On the one hand, people like Michael Gove say:

We don’t want or need to be in the single market (…) We don’t want to be bound by being members of the customs union. Outside we can negotiate new trade deals with emerging economies. Inside we’re trapped.

On the other hand Tory grandee and former chancellor Ken Clarke argues that “you cannot leave a market of 500 million people without making yourself poorer than you otherwise would be” and Anna Soubry, former business minister, has called on her leader to “show she’s prepared to stand up to the hardline, fall-off-a-cliff Brexiteers and say, ‘no, we’re not going to do it your way’”.

Within the Tory party, anyone who calls for a more specific definition than ‘Brexit means Brexit’ is dubbed one of the ‘new bastards.’

Source: The Tory civil war will re-ignite – Richard Corbett

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