UK Politics

Are Conservative members bored with Brexit?

Conservative conference Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The UK's EU exit has loomed large in Birmingham

It's the issue that seems to have dominated the Conservative conference - but have party members in Birmingham finally had their fill of Brexit?

"There is some level of Brexit fatigue," says 19-year-old Greg Woodbridge, a student from South Northamptonshire, "but it's still the main topic".

"Certainly up until March (Theresa May's deadline to trigger Brexit) and beyond it's going to be a talking point for years to come."

Image caption Some 'Brexit fatigue' says Greg Woodbridge
Image caption Brexit means 'endless speculation' says Jack Tudor

His fellow student and Leave voter Jack Tudor adds: "Obviously it's the main story in the news, to an extent there's that fatigue but there's such endless speculation about what's going to happen next."

Sheila Randall, of Rutland and Melton branch, a Tory member for 66 years, voted to Remain while her husband backed Leave. "I think we've got to move on," she says. "It was Out, we've got to accept it."

But she has a word of warning though. Brexiteers, she believes, "want it happening immediately" and "we can't rush".

Image caption Malcolm Davies (right) voted Remain while Robert Lawton backed Leave

"You hear a lot about Brexit from some of the speakers," says Robert Lawton, the chairman of Bournemouth East Conservatives, who voted Leave.

"But when you speak to other people it's not really the topic of general conversation. This time last year in Manchester it would have been the main topic - now it's gone."

His fellow Bournemouth councillor, Malcolm Davies, backed Remain. He says the media are "trying to drive" the Brexit story but thinks Tory members are "quite relaxed about it".

Paul Barrett, from Ribble Valley, says Theresa May has "taken the fear away" from Brexit, but thinks it is still the main topic.

"There's been an element of calm" compared with what came before, he says.

Councillor Denise Gee, from Darwen in Lancashire, voted Leave.

Image caption The 'nasty battle' over Brexit is over, says councillor Denise Gee
Image caption 'Huge but not everything' says David Brierley

"It did become quite a nasty battle this time last year, but I think every party member that we have spoken to over the conference has accepted that's what the British people wanted."

"I think people want to move on," says student governor Isaac Barnett. "People have had enough of the topic and want to talk about something else."

"Theresa May discussed it on Sunday to almost get it out the way," says David Brierley from London, who voted Remain. "Brexit is huge, but it's not everything."

"Before the referendum it was totally the only thing people were talking about," says 22-year-old Exeter University student Charlie Beaty.

"There have been a lot of fringe events about it, I'm surprised Brexit is such a huge conversation now."

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