Theresa May calls for unity on Brexit, dances onto the stage

Theresa May to appear at Conservative Party’s annual meeting six months before Brexit

May said she can not rule out a no-deal scenario, as a divorce deal needs to be agreed in around two weeks in order that there is enough time for ratification in the United Kingdom and European Parliament.

After an awkward dance episode during her visit to Kenya in August had made the wrong kind of headlines, May chose to dance up to the podium to the beats of one of the Swedish band's most enduring songs in an attempt to set a lighter tone to her much-anticipated speech.

May took on her detractors in a punchy address to the party's annual conference, a day after a rival, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, challenged her authority with a crowd-pleasing speech of his own.

"Together let's build a better Britain", Mrs May concluded, giving the impression that, far from this being her final speech as leader, she meant to go on for longer than March 29, 2019, Brexit day.

This time, May even poked fun at her robotic public image - cemented when her awkward dance moves on a trip to Africa went viral - by busting a move as she took the stage to ABBA's "Dancing Queen".

"It is no surprise that we have had a range of different views expressed this week", May said.

Johnson, who quit as foreign secretary in July, drew cheers from 1,500 delegates on Tuesday when he called May's proposal for close post-Brexit economic ties an "outrage" that would leave Britain manacled to the European Union and unable to strike new trade deals around the world.

She argues that her plan is the only way to avoid customs checks along the now invisible border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland - a development that would be troublesome for residents and businesses on both sides, and could undermine Northern Ireland's peace process.

On Wednesday, May was keen to show she was in charge of the Brexit talks.

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Her words were aimed at easing the growing frustration of some Conservatives who openly say their party is meandering without substantive new ideas, unable to set an agenda amid their divisive feuds over how to depart the EU.

With no agreement with the bloc over the terms of divorce or a future trade relationship, the last day of the conference marked the beginning of what some officials predict will be a frenzied couple of weeks of diplomacy between London and Brussels as the two sides try to pin down a deal.

Mrs May then disarmingly referred to 2017's car-crash conference speech, when she suffered a coughing fit, had to deal with a stage invader as the stage set fell to pieces behind her.

She reached out to voters whose living standards have been squeezed by stagnating incomes and public-spending cuts since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, she said, would "outsource our conscience to the Kremlin".

She painted an optimistic picture of post-Brexit Britain, saying "our future is full of promise".

The heat she faces from some in the party was underlined less than an hour before her speech when Conservative lawmaker James Duddridge said he had submitted a letter calling on her to resign.

"We will not betray the result of the referendum and we will never break up our country", she said, ruling out any Brexit deal that would weaken the union between the British mainland and Northern Ireland.

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