Has May put an end to the Tories' Brexit row?

Prime Minister May defended her Brexit plan at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham: if the party fails to support her either Labour will take over or Brexit won't take place, she said. While some commentators say her dynamic performance has convinced people that she can bring Brexit to a successful conclusion, others fear the outcome is beyond her control.

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Handelsblatt (DE) /

May still in charge

The British prime minister stands a good chance of being able to bring the Brexit process to conclusion now, Handelsblatt comments:

“Her arch-rival Boris Johnson may be expressing the deepest sentiment of the party base when he says the proud kingdom would be subjugating itself to the EU in the long term. But the prime minister is still at the helm. Birmingham has confirmed that there aren't enough Brexit hardliners to force a change of course. Many normal party members are so sick of the whole Brexit debate that at this point they would be glad with any kind of deal. From the EU's point of view this is a relief. May is someone they can negotiate with.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Pragmatism has prevailed

The party members were swayed by the reasonableness of May's arguments, Der Standard notes:

“The 62-year-old cleverly reminded the Conservatives of their duties as the party of discipline, pragmatism, and patriotism. The Brexit sought by others, May suggested, may be more perfect than her plan, but only this version can guarantee that Britain will actually leave the EU at the end of March. That makes sense to a lot of members. What the PM couldn't tell the predominantly anti-EU party was that in fact Johnson's ideas would cast doubts on Britain's reliability as a negotiating partner and cause much more harm to the country and the continent than already anticipated.”

De Morgen (BE) /

Dancing Queen living in a dream world

Theresa May shimmied onto the stage in Birmingham to the sound of Abba's Dancing Queen. De Morgen sees her bouyant mood as inappropriate in view of the harsh reality of her situation:

“Her fate depends to a large extent on Brussels. In her speech she came across as extremely optimistic about the talks with the EU. In her view it will be possible to continue to trade with the EU while limiting the free movement of workers that she so despises. And it will be possible to sign free trade agreements with the rest of the world and to keep Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. 'Dream world, you've been living in a dream world', Europe's leaders would answer, quoting Abba.”

Hämeen Sanomat (FI) /

Hard Brexit increasingly likely

Hämeen Sanomat is also pessimistic about the exit negotiations with the EU after the Tory party conference:

“Things don't look good. Too many questions are still open and Prime Minister Theresa May's line of negotiation is being criticised within her own ranks. Out of pure desperation there has even been talk of prolonging the negotiations. May has blamed the EU's rightly resolute stance for the delays while Britain is just trying to cherry-pick in the EU's view. A hard Brexit, an EU exit without a deal, is becoming an increasingly big and realistic threat.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Johnson impresses with his Conservative vision

The only person who gave a convincing performance at the party conference was the former foreign secretary and May's main rival Boris Johnson, writes The Daily Telegraph:

“No one else comes close to articulating the essence of conservatism in a way that reaches beyond the party's traditional heartlands. Moreover, for someone often accused of lacking detailed proposals, he reminded his audience of his successes as London mayor and put forward a number of radical ideas of the sort that have been absent from ministerial contributions. Mr Johnson was also unapologetic in his defence of wealth creators and the market economy, urging the Chancellor to cut taxes post-Brexit.”