Boris Johnson‘s most senior ally Dominic Cummings intends to make this year’s Conservative Party conference about one thing only: severing ties with the EU on 31 October.

Rather than cabinet ministers setting out their departmental priorities for the coming year, hammered home in every carefully crafted speech will be the government’s commitment to deliver Brexit by Halloween, “do or die”.

The three-day gathering of the party faithful in Manchester will be a rally for Brexit and a likely taste of how the Conservatives intend to fight any general election campaign that may follow. Given Labour’s recent equivocating on the issue, it is the battleground on which Johnson will want to tackle Jeremy Corbyn.

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