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Britain's Theresa May Urges Party Unity During 'Toughest Phase' of Brexit Talks
British Prime Minister Theresa May is calling on her fractious Conservative Party to unite on a Brexit strategy and help her negotiate a separation agreement with the European Union.
May told her party's annual conference Wednesday in Birmingham they are entering the "toughest phase of the negotiations."
Britain will leave the 28-nation bloc on March 29 and talks to reach a divorce deal have stalled.
An influential pro-Brexit faction within May's party led by former foreign minister Boris Johnson is urging her to be firm and exit the European Union without a deal if necessary. The faction opposes May's proposal for Britain to adhere to EU trade rules after it leaves, calling instead for a clean break.
May did not rule out leaving without an agreement, but said doing so "would be a bad outcome for the U.K. and the EU."
May insists her plan is the only way to protect jobs and trade, and avoid physical checks on the border Britain shares with Ireland.
"If we stick together and hold our nerve, I know we can get a deal that delivers for Britain," May said. "Even if we do not all agree on every part of this proposal, we need to come together."
Wednesday's end of the Conservative Party's annual conference marks the beginning of what some officials believe will be a couple of weeks of frenzied diplomatic talks between Britain and the European Union as the two sides try to seal a deal to end more than 40 years of partnership.