Theresa May To Labour Voters: Look Beyond Party Labels


Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, has started efforts to convince disgruntled Labour voters “look at her party afresh” and “beyond party labels.”

Writing in the Observer last Saturday, May said that she wanted the Conservatives to be a party “for the whole country.” She also said that the Tories were capable of going beyond criticising the opposition.

She stated: “To be that party for the whole country, Conservatives must do more than demonstrate the flaws of Corbynism. We need to offer a positive and optimistic vision of the better future that our policies will deliver.”

During her speech closing the Conservative party conference that was held during the previous week, the British Prime Minister proclaimed a new era for the United Kingdom and an end to austerity. She said that “there are better days ahead.”

She added: “Debt as a share of the economy will continue to go down, support for public services will go up because, a decade after the financial crash, people need to know that the austerity it led to is over and that their hard work has paid off.”

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said that the claim of May that austerity was over was a “cynical con,” while Ian Lavery, the chairman of the Labour party, said that the article of May showed that the prime minister was “clearly spooked.”

The pitch of May to Labour voters comes as she attempts to win over the European Union at a crucial summit that is scheduled later this month. The summit has been regarded as a deadline for finalising the terms on which the United Kingdom will be leaving the European Union which is widely known as the so-called withdrawal agreement. It will also serve as a political declaration regarding the future relationship between the two sides.

The European Union has already signalled that it will reject the so-called Chequers proposal, the blueprint of May for a Brexit deal,  on the grounds that it “undermines” the integrity of the Single Market.

Last Wednesday, Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator of the European Union, presented the first draft of the bloc of EU proposals for a trade relationship to the executive European Commission of the EU.

Last Saturday, Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister, told Sky News that he thought that there was a good chance of the two sides agreeing on a withdrawal treaty and that discussions on a deal are almost 90 percent complete.

He stated: “I think the chances are good because I think the consequences of not getting a withdrawal treaty agreed are very very negative indeed for the UK, also for Ireland and indeed for many countries in the EU.”

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, said that the SNP, her party, would be backing another Brexit referendum. She said that her MPs would be opposing a deal that did not guarantee remaining in the Single Market and customs union.

Sturgeon informed the BBC that MPs should come together to dodge a “fire or frying pan” situation.

She stated: “No doubt calls for a second referendum would grow in those circumstances, and I’ve said before we wouldn’t stand in the way of a second referendum. I think SNP MPs would undoubtedly vote for that proposition.”