November 6, 2019

Boris launches campaign pledging to unleash Britain's potential

Boris Johnson has launched the Conservative Party’s election campaign. We’re going to get Brexit done to unleash Britain’s potential.

See his full speech below:

Fantastic to see you all here in Birmingham, where our great Conservative Mayor has already taken the precaution of having every street named after him. And great to see you so many of you here what a fantastic crowd at the beginning of what I think is the most important election our country has faced for a generation.

I can imagine there might be some people here who weren't too keen a General Election in the run up to Christmas. And if you did think that, I am with you!

I don’t want an election. I love my job. No prime minister wants an election, when there is so much that we want to get on and do.

But my friends we have no choice.

This Parliament refuses to get Brexit done.

We have a Parliament that is paralysed, blocked, and is generally incapable of digestive function as an anaconda that has swallowed a tapir, neither of them moving one way or the other if you see what I mean.

This Parliament just refuses to get Brexit done. And that is not only bad for democracy, because we asked the people of this country whether they wanted to stay in the EU and we told them time and again that we would honour their decision, didn't we?

We told them that whatever they voted, leave or remain, we would put it into effect. And yet for three and a half years we have seen non-stop political manoeuvring to frustrate Brexit and thwart the will of the people.

And the result is that the whole Brexit delay is holding us all back. It is like a bendy-bus, I banned them in London, a bendy-bus jack-knifed on a yellow box junction - nobody can get round it. It’s blocking the traffic in every direction.

And the uncertainty and the delay are bad for the country.

Because people need to plan. They need to make investments. To hire new employees. To buy new homes. And we need a new election and a new Parliament because we cannot go on like this.

Now is the time to make a change and unleash that tidal wave of investment that is going to flow into this country a great surge of confidence into the UK.

And we can that in just a few weeks. Because I am proud of many things that we have done in the last 108 days - I think it is 108 days - the biggest investments in the NHS for a generation, 40 new hospitals green lighted as a result of decisions taken by this government. Levelling up education funding around the country with more for primary and secondary schools across the country. 20,000 more police officers. Priti was just talking to you wasn't she, great job Priti recruiting 20,000. I have already met some of the recruits!

Gigabit broadband, gigabit broadband eight years ahead of schedule sprouting through every... through every home, like a kind of, a very informative vermicelli, I don't know exactly what gigabit broadband is, but it's going to be fantastic for our country, where we are going to have an infrastructure revolution across the UK. 

I am proud of many, many things that we are doing but most of all I am proud of our deal. The deal that they said was impossible. The deal they said we couldn't do. And yet it is a great deal.

I have heard some people in the last few days trying to attack our deal. My friends I think they are trying to cast aspersions on it. They remind me a bit of candle-sellers at the dawn of the age of the electric light bulb, or the makers of typewriters on beholding their first laptop computer.

They have a terrible sense that they are about to lose their market. Because this deal delivers everything that I campaigned for Brexit.

We take back control of our money – so we can spend millions more every week on the NHS, or whatever priorities we want, hundreds of millions. We take back control of our borders with an Australian style points-based system, so we can bring in people whether they are scientists or agricultural workers that this country needs, but we can control it. We take back control of our laws, so we can do things in our own way, we can do things differently and better when we choose.

From free ports to free trade deals. From banning the cruel live shipment of animals to cutting VAT on tampons. We can do things differently in the UK.

Under this deal the crucial thing is the whole of the UK comes out of the EU. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, whole entire and perfect and this deal is ready to go. It is done. Parliament - before they infuriatingly refused to, before they delayed it, they gave it preliminary seal of approval if you remember. You just whack it in the microwave, gas mark... I'm not very good at cooking. Gas mark 4 it is there. It is ready to go.

Prick the lid, put it in and then we can get on, we can get on, we put this deal through Parliament and then we can get on with all the fantastic projects in which this government is engaged.

Uniting and levelling up our country, giving people opportunity across our country with better education, better infrastructure and new technology, that is what this government is all about. It is about giving hope.

And we can make those investments as Conservatives, with credibility precisely because we have taken the tough decisions to restore public finances, we have shown that we can, we have managed the economy well. We now have had, we have got nine years of uninterrupted growth, the economy about 20% bigger than it was when we took over in 2010 and record employment in this country.

Why? Because we understand the importance of a dynamic market economy

And there is a reason this party is more trusted on health, Matt Hancock, more trusted on health than his counterpart.

More trusted on education, Gavin Williamson, more trusted than his Labour counterpart on education.

Because people can see that we understand how to pay for that whole society and how we can ensure that society has the wealth to pay for fantastic public services and infrastructure.

And that is the balance, and the symmetry at the heart of our one nation, modern Conservatism, and that is the problem with Bolivarian revolutionary socialism as practised by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.

And the Labour Party always runs out of other people’s money, that is what happens, and it will happen again.

And under this lot it will happen all too fast, because they have a deranged plan to spend £196bn on their friends in the union and renationalisation, and to do it they are going to raise taxes on pensions, on corporations to the highest level in Europe, on inheritance, on homes, on gardens, there's a huge list. And their tax on gardens, Sevenoaks will have to change their name to Threeoaks as a result.

And they know that themselves, look at the preparations they are making, they know that their policies are ruinous because John McDonnell, the guy sacked by Livingstone for preparing a factious budget, has already said that he is preparing for a run on the pound and that he wants to restore exchange controls, which we haven't seen for decades in this country.

And the choice before us is so clear and very stark.

I say to all of you here, come with us – a party that supports a fantastic education for every kid, because we believe in opportunity across this country, or go with Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party who want to expropriate the property of schools and abolish Ofsted, which actually protects kids from bullying in the classroom.

We support our armed forces – he wants to ban them.

We back our police in the fight against street-crime and knife-crime – his party thinks stop and search is oppressive and inappropriate.

We want to control our immigration system – he wants unlimited and uncontrolled immigration, no matter what pressure that puts on public services such as the NHS.

We want our country to stand tall in the world, and to stick by our allies and our values.

He is so consumed with a juvenile dislike of America that he sides with the mullahs of Tehran rather than Washington.

And when Russia ordered the poisoning of innocent civilians in Salisbury, he sided with Putin.

And there's a key difference that we all face at this election above all, and that is come with us and we will get Brexit done.

This guy wants nothing more than dither and delay.

He wants a referendum on Scotland because he's told the SNP he's happy to break up our union if they sustain him in power, and of course he wants another referendum on the EU. Unbelievable. He said tonight he wants to have another extension for another negotiation. But he's not clear what he wants to achieve.

And we don’t know what he wants to achieve in that negotiation. We don’t know what question he would put to the electorate in this referendum. We don’t even know what his own position is.

Is he for leave or remain, in or out, forwards or back.

I don’t know. I don’t think he knows himself.

In fact, the only bit of flotsam of intelligence to have emerged from the Bermuda Triangle of Labour’s Brexit policy is that they are preparing to do a new deal and then campaign against it six months later. With all the futility of those suicidal knights in Monty Python

But there is one thing we do know about his policy, and that is that another referendum means more delay, more uncertainty and more acrimony and division in our country when this country is aching to move on.

Let’s make next year the year of prosperity and growth not the year of two chaotic referendums. If I come back with a working majority in parliament then I will get parliament working for you.

On day one of the new Parliament in December, we will start getting our deal through so we get Brexit done in January and put the uncertainty behind us.

Let’s make 2020 about the people of this country and not its politicians. Let’s get out of the rut of the last three years and get on with our work as Conservatives of making this the greatest place to live and to start a family and the greatest place to send your kids to school, to start a business, the place that leads the world in clean green technology and tackling greenhouse gases

Let’s get Brexit done and get on with our project of sensible moderate but tax cutting one nation conservatism, spreading opportunity and hope across the whole UK and let’s unleash the potential of this country.

Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:

“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)