The Best of The Brexit Bits From the Tory Party Conference

Well, what a conference that was! They say a day is a long time in politics, and this four day spell of Mancunian-magic proved the old adage all too true. (We feel Mrs May would heartily agree!)

We’ve trawled the news, views and memes from Manchester to bring you the best bits of Brexit: The Tory Party Conference Edition.

Well, what a conference that was! They say a day is a long time in politics, and this four day spell of Mancunian-magic proved the old adage all too true. (We feel Mrs May would heartily agree!)

We’ve trawled the news, views and memes from Manchester to bring you the best bits of Brexit: The Tory Party Conference Edition.


Boris Johnson
Boris does his best impersonation of a Loyal Government Minister…

“Theresa May won. She won more votes than any party leader and took this party to its highest share of the vote in the last 25 years and the whole country owes her a debt for her steadfastness in taking the country forward as she will to a great Brexit deal. Based on that Florence speech on whose every syllable, I can tell you the whole Cabinet is united.”

Did anyone else have to look up ‘murrain’? If only the Foreign Secretary’s job was expanding the nation’s vocabulary, rather than international affairs and diplomacy…

“It is time to stop treating the referendum result as though it were a plague of boils or a murrain on our cattle or an inexplicable aberration by 17.4 m people. It is time to be bold, and to seize the opportunities and there is no country better placed than Britain.”

Our premiere business and political paper should apparently be more ‘Tiggerish’…

“Every day a distinguished pink newspaper manages to make Eeyore look positively exuberant, and across the world the impression is being given that this country is not up to it; that we are going to bottle out of Brexit and end up in some dingy ante-room of the EU, pathetically waiting for the scraps but no longer in control of the menu.”

Michael Gove
When you’d rather just make things up, because it’s too tricky to listen with your fingers stuck in your ears…

“When Tony Blair or Vince Cable tell us that the referendum decision to leave the EU must be overturned, that the votes of 17.4 million people should be disregarded, that we should exit from Brexit and stay in the European Union – then I feel it’s time to stand up for something precious, something special to us all, something that defines us a nation. Democracy.”

Now where have I heard this intro before?…

“We’re leaving. We’re taking back control. We’re going to make a success of life outside the European Union. And nowhere are the possibilities for progress greater than with the environment.”

Brexit – it’s the only way to save the planet. “Paris Agreement? Never heard of it!”…

“And leaving the European Union gives us the chance to secure a special prize – a Green Brexit.”

Clearly the EU is sneakily destroying the planet, and Gove’s been the only one smart enough to notice…

“But now we are leaving – and taking back control – there are so many ways in which we can enhance our environment. Take the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy – it has been economically and environmentally disastrous. Lack of control over our own waters has gone hand in hand with drastic overfishing and the depletion of a wonderful, renewable, natural resource. Outside the EU we can do so much better.”


Liam Fox
Nay, nay I say… that’s really not how job markets work…

“Because the naysayers got it wrong – and doesn’t it annoy you when people preface any piece of good news with the phrase “despite Brexit”. Well, doesn’t it? So let’s just have a reality check. We have the highest number of people in employment ever, “despite Brexit”.

Last year we had the highest inward investment to the UK ever, creating over 75,000 new jobs and safeguarding over 32,000 others, “despite Brexit”. We have new cars being built in Sunderland and Cowley, amongst the highest economic growth rates in the developed world, an 11% rise in exports and the best order books for British manufacturers in 22 years.

No, not despite Brexit but because of the sound economic management of a Conservative government under the leadership of our Prime Minister, Theresa May and Chancellor, Phillip Hammond.”

This is where he finally clues in that Brexit hasn’t actually happened yet…

“We will leave the European Union, and with it, the Single Market and the Customs Union, at the end of March 2019. We are now making the preparations for that to happen.”

Where he admits we want exactly what we have now…

“Second, we have to translate into UK law, the trade agreements that the EU has, with other countries, and to which we are a party.

There are around 40 such EU free trade agreements and we have been working to ensure that we continue our trading advantages with important markets, such as Switzerland and South Korea, avoiding any disruption at the point we leave the EU”

Having your cake and eating it too, instantly pops to mind…

“Of course, as we look globally, we must continue to recognise the hugely important market for the UK that the EU provides. That is why the Prime Minister and David Davis have consistently said that we want to see a full and comprehensive agreement with the EU, retaining an open and free trading area across the European continent.”

David Davis
The only people I’ve heard telling him to get a move on are the EU…

“When we met last year in the shadow of the Referendum emotions were still raw. A year later, there is a new mood.

People want to look to the future.

They are fed up that people in Westminster seem to be stuck in an endless debate while the rest of the world wants to get a move on.”

His idea of polling the electorate leaves a little to be desired…

“Over a year later I still get people coming up to me every day saying: ‘best of luck’ or ‘get a good deal for us Mr Davis’, and even, ‘Surely it can’t be that difficult?’

And that’s just the Cabinet.”

I’m pretty sure he’d find they were leave voters if he asked…

“People – not leave voters, or remain voters any more – just ordinary decent people, enthusiastically come up to me and wish me well on our shared project.

They know it’s not going to be easy or straightforward.”

Okay, he might actually have a fair point with this one…

“Now, I would be happy to work with the Labour Party in the national interest, putting aside our differences for the good of the country.

But they have been playing a different game.

They’ve now published 11 separate Brexit plans and they are to paraphrase Tolstoy, each unhappy in its own unique way.

For the customs union…then against it

For the single market…then against it

For freedom of movement…then against it

Where we have introduced a Repeal Bill to take control of our laws and provide legal certainty…

They opposed it and offered no alternative.

Where we set out our negotiating positions and got the process started…

They opposed it and offered no alternative.

Where we have set out a plan for life outside the EU…with free trade and a strong economy…

They opposed it and offered no alternative.

They claim they respect the outcome of the Referendum…..but oppose every step required to deliver it.”

Theresa May
When an argument against Labour turns into a resounding endorsement of the EU’s basic principals…

“That idea of free and open markets, operating under the right rules and regulations, is precious to us. ‘It’s the means by which we generate our prosperity as a nation, and improve the living standards of all our people. ‘It has helped to cement Britain’s influence as a force for good in the world. ‘It has underpinned the rules-based international system that helped rebuild post-war Europe and the world beyond.”

“It has inspired 70 years of prosperity, raising living standards for hundreds of millions of people right across the globe. So don’t try and tell me that free markets are no longer fit for purpose. That somehow they’re holding people back.”

Theresa ‘I’m a leaver now, really’ May…

“Together, quite simply, we are stronger. So we must unite the country around our Conservative vision of a global, prosperous Britain in which the British Dream is alive.”

And finally, because a picture’s worth a thousand words (and we’ve had enough of those already). Here’s our favourite from the Guardian.