Brexit secretary admits ‘Chequers not everything I wanted’
PUBLISHED: 11:39 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:39 01 October 2018
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Dominic Rabb has told Tory conference the prime minister’s Chequers plan is not perfect.
In a bid to get the party’s Brexiteers behind Theresa May amid an onslaught from Boris Johnson he said: “Do I think the deal we are pursuing is perfect? Of course not. Is it everything I wanted? No it isn’t. This is a negotiation. There have been compromises.”
Raab took over as Brexit secretary when David Davis quit in the wake of May’s Chequers proposal.
And now, in the face of almost universal hatred for the PM’s plan from both Leavers and Remainers in the party, he has been tasked with pulling the Tories together on Brexit.
He added: “We all know that Brexit is a controversial subject. It excites strong passions. But as a Party and as a country, we also need to keep a sense of proportion. Everybody had a vote. And most people have an opinion. But only a small minority think it’s worth fighting over, except when they’re on Twitter.
“It’s important to remember that the person sitting next to you on the bus into town, at your desk at work, round the breakfast table... and, yes, here in this hall today, may have voted the other way to you in the referendum. That’s the genius of our democracy.”
Meanwhile Johnson’s shadow continues to loom over conference. But the feeling is that the tide is turning.
Activists and members are opening talking in the bars and pubs around the conference hall in Birmingham about how Johnson has blown his chance.
One said: “I have been a supporter of Boris. I think he brings a lot to the party. But what he is attempting to do at the moment is ripping us apart. In the end though – and we are fast approaching the end regarding Brexit – the Tory party comes together.
“And I think we will come together at this conference around Theresa May.”