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May: 'Good' Brexit deal will mean end to austerity

By Alan McGuinness, political reporter, in Birmingham
Theresa May has signalled an end to the age of austerity - provided she can secure a "good" Brexit deal.
Ten years after the financial crash, the prime minister said the British people were crying out for light at the end of the tunnel and "our message to them must be this: 'we get it'".Delivering her speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Mrs May said the Tories needed to show voters they were "not just a party to clean up a mess", but also capable of guiding Britain to a "better future".

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She said: "Sound finances are essential but they are not the limit of our ambition."Because you made sacrifices, there are better days ahead."So when we've secured a good Brexit deal for Britain, at the spending review next year we will set out our approach to the future. 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."
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Dancing Queen or SOS? May's big entrance
In what was overall a positive and upbeat speech, Mrs May declared: "If we come together, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Our future is in our hands."But the headlines in the days and weeks leading up to this conference have been anything but positive and upbeat for the PM.There has been near constant speculation about her leadership and how much time she has left in Downing Street, with further fuel poured on the fire when Tory MP James Duddridge submitted a letter of no confidence in Mrs May on the morning of her speech.
[img]https://e3.365dm.com/18/10/320x180/b60557af94ebe54f06ebb338c008003819301d3ed0612ed88211acc45d7763a1_4441619.jpg[/img]

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Video:
'I don't know an MP who thinks she'll stay'
However, the PM seemed relaxed and at ease as she walked on stage to ABBA's Dancing Queen, jiving as she approached the podium.The unexpected entrance was a light-hearted nod to footage of her dancing during a recent trip to Africa that went viral.She also made light of her difficult turn at last year's conference - when she was handed a P45 by a prankster, was overwhelmed at points by coughing fits and saw the backdrop behind her begin to fall apart.
This is the letter @JamesDuddridge has sent to 1922 committee chairman Sir Graham Brady. He calls for a "proper leadership election" https://t.co/xUTvZePZMj pic.twitter.com/hOuazwWhn8— Sky News Politics (@SkyNewsPolitics) October 3, 2018
"You'll have to excuse me if I cough during this speech; I've been up all night supergluing the backdrop," Mrs May joked.During the speech, she announced:
:: A new cancer strategy to increase early detection of the illness and save 55,000 lives a year by 2028;
:: A freeze in fuel duty for the ninth successive year;
:: An auto-compensation system for train passengers, so they won't have to "waste more time" getting their money back;
:: A lifting of the cap on councils borrowing to fund new developments to help fix the "broken" housing market and build "the homes this country needs".
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