Theresa May will make a daring pitch to disgruntled Labour voters in which she will urge them to consider supporting the Conservatives.
The prime minister will set out a series of measures to “build a country that works for everyone” including securing “the best Brexit deal”.
Writing in The Observer, Mrs May said: “I believe that the principles which guide us – security for families and the country, freedom under the rule of law, and opportunity for everyone – can unite our people and help build a better future for our country.”
In a move designed to capitalise on recent splits in the Labour party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, Mrs May will say the Conservatives offer a “positive and optimistic vision”.
“Antisemitism has grown, the party’s response to threats to our country’s security has become equivocal, and moderate Labour MPs have become targets for deselection and harassment. These are all alien to Labour’s best traditions,” she wrote.
“I want voters who may previously have thought of themselves as Labour supporters to look at my government afresh. They will find a decent, moderate and patriotic programme that is worthy of their support.
“To be that party for the whole country, Conservatives must do more than demonstrate the flaws of Corbynism. We need to offer a positive and optimistic vision of the better future that our policies will deliver.”
And the prime minister hinted at greater attention on domestic policies after Brexit with a focus on education, health, the economy and living standards.
“That means getting the best Brexit deal for Britain, that protects jobs and rights and makes the most of the opportunities that Brexit brings to play a more global role, while also delivering for people on the domestic issues that matter to them here at home.
“We are not just a party to clean up a mess, we are a party to steer a course to a better future,” she said.
Mrs May will face mounting pressure next week as EU negotiators will formally reject her plea for frictionless trade between Britain and Europe.
In an interview with an Austrian newspaper, EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said he hoped and agreement would be reached.
“Our will is unbroken to reach agreement with the British government,” he said.
Meanwhile EU Council President Donald Tusk said a deal could be struck “by the end of the year”.
Responding to Theresa May’s op-ed, the Labour Party chair Ian Lavery MP said: “With the government about to impose some of their most brutal cuts yet on working people, Theresa May’s claim that austerity is over is a con.
“The Tories have spent their entire time in power running down our schools, local services and NHS, while gifting huge tax breaks to big business.
“The prime minister is clearly spooked, so is resorting to desperate pleas in an attempt revive her failing administration. The British public won’t be fooled.”