Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was greeted with a standing ovation by Conservative supporters as he called for unity after party divisions over Brexit, a sign his star is rising in any future leadership contest to replace Prime Minister Theresa May.
A long-term Brexit supporter, Raab reached out to voters who favor retaining ties with the European Union, praising how they’d highlighted important stumbling blocks to securing a good deal.
In an appeal to one of the central pillars of Conservative values – pragmatism, he said he is having to make compromises to secure a deal with the EU.
“My approach to Brexit is pragmatic, not dogmatic,” he said. “Do I think the deal we are pursuing is perfect? Of course not. Is it everything I wanted? No it isn’t. ”
Raab defies easy categorization having worked for Dominic Grieve—now the leading Tory pro-European—and arch Brexiteer David Davis, and shown more willingness to engage with MPs on the other side of the fence than many of his Tory colleagues.
Highlighting the fights about antisemitism dogging the opposition Labour Party, Raab also spoke movingly of Jewish refugee father who fled Czechoslovakia to escape the Nazi purges.