November 29, 2019

Delivering the change people voted for

The Prime Minister today set out his Brexit roadmap, explaining how a Conservative majority Government will unleash the benefits of getting Brexit done.


In a keynote speech alongside former Vote Leave campaigners Michael Gove and Gisela Stuart, Mr Johnson set out a bold and ambitious plan to make sure that people get the change that they voted for three years ago.


Speaking in London, Michael Gove said:


Thank you for coming here today.

In the referendum three and a half years ago, people voted for change.

They wanted to change the way we were told what to do by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

They wanted to change our immigration system and take back control our borders.

They wanted to change the fact we sent the EU £350 million a week – gross – rather than spending that money on our priorities like the NHS.

And they wanted change because the status quo was not working for them.

The referendum didn’t create division in society – it revealed it.

Divisions between north and south, rich and poor, young and old which politicians of all parties had failed to address for too long.

Across the country, there were overlooked families and undervalued communities who believed the system was not working in their best interests.

While some, particularly in London and the South East, had reaped the benefits of economic growth, other parts of the country were left behind.

Rather than bring prosperity to these communities, globalisation had seemed to hollow them out.

Ageing infrastructure, low wage jobs, poor public services, fading high streets – these were common features of many of the places which voted to leave.

The referendum was a chance for their voices to be heard and their concerns listened to.

Far from helping these communities, the EU seemed a distant institution, deaf to their concerns. When it came to the free movement of people or the bureaucracy imposed on UK industries, the EU seemed actively to work against their interests.

They were right, which is why Gisela, Boris and I campaigned on their behalves.

And it’s why the three of us are back here today. People voted for change, but three and half years on, that change has – still – not been delivered.

Politicians have failed to honour the biggest vote for change ever seen in this country.

That will forever be a stain on the last parliament – and it should prod the conscience of the next.

People are fed up of the stagnation of the last three years. The grave risk at this election is that there is another hung parliament – meaning more dither, more delay, more deadlock.

And every independent commentator agrees, the Conservative Party is the only Party capable of winning a majority.

As the esteemed pollster Professor John Curtice has said, “This is a pretty binary contest. Either Boris gets a majority and we’re leaving the EU on the terms he’s negotiating, or we get a hung Parliament”.

The only way Jeremy Corbyn can get to Downing Street is to form an alliance with Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

And she has named the price of her support next year – another referendum on Scottish independence next year.

So instead of delivering the change people are crying out for, a Corbyn-Sturgeon alliance would waste 2020 on two referendums.

On Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn won’t even tell us how he would vote in his own referendum.

He would ask the public to troop into the polling booths in order to choose between Remain and whatever deal he had negotiated – while he put his feet up in Downing Street.

If he can’t even decide whether we should Remain or Leave, how can we possibly trust him to take critical decisions on behalf of the country?

He would abdicate his duty and run away from his responsibilities. He is totally unfit to run this country.

And in wasting the country’s time on referendums, he would not deliver the change people voted for.

Therefore, a vote for any party other than the Conservatives is, in effect, a vote for another hung parliament, a vote for more dither and delay, a vote for a Corbyn-Sturgeon alliance, a vote for two more referendums next year.

Put simply, a vote for any party other than the Conservatives is a vote against change.

Now I will hand over to Gisela to say a little more about why Jeremy Corbyn cannot be trusted to deliver the change people need”.

Speaking in London, Gisela Stuart said:


“I was Chair of the Vote Leave campaign which brought together not only the three of us, but volunteers and supporters from nearly all the political parties.  

In the referendum campaign, Vote Leave promised that a vote to Leave would see us take back control of our laws, borders, money and trade.

That was three and a half-years ago and all of this should, of course, have happened by now.

But Brexit has not happened because Labour, the Lib Dems and others have done everything they can to frustrate, delay and overturn the referendum result.  

-          Labour have voted twice to delay Brexit.

-          The Labour leadership, the Shadow Cabinet and most Labour MPs do not believe in Brexit.

-          Labour’s proposed Brexit deal is so bad, that not even Jeremy Corbyn can bring himself to support it.

So that means Leave voters have a clear choice at this election.

-          Put Brexit at risk with Jeremy Corbyn.

-          Or get Brexit done with Boris Johnson.

And we must get Brexit done.  There is too much at stake for the country.

We need to get on with it:

-          so we can start to rebalance our country so that counties, towns and villages away from London have a greater voice and are no longer ignored;

-          so that we can strengthen and modernise our health service,

-          give our children and grandchildren the education and training they need to excel; and

-          get on with building the strong economy we need if we are to meet the urgent challenge of climate change and invest in the renewal that our country needs.

I became the MP for Edgbaston in the Labour landslide election win of 1997 that saw Tony Blair become Prime Minister.  

I was lucky enough to represent some of the most resilient, generous and fair minded people in the country and to serve as a Labour government minister during a time of optimism about what Labour could achieve.

For many, Labour represented the hope of a better and fairer Britain - one that could thrive economically and restore a sense of pride.

That has all changed.

I am devasted by the rise of anti-Jewish racism within the Labour Party and the abandonment of the moderate, pragmatic and fair-minded politics that was the hallmark of Labour through most of my life.

I still think of myself as Labour, and my values are still Labour.

But while my values have stayed the same, those of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party have changed.

This is no longer the Labour Party that I and many thousands of others joined.

The Labour Party of John Smith, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair has gone, at least for now.

I know that for many, supporting Labour is part of family tradition.  

They will feel as I do that they face a difficult choice, torn between loyalty to the Party and the best interests of the country as a whole.  

I say to those traditional Labour voters who three and a half years ago supported Vote Leave that we can bring this country back together and restore a sense of hope, but not by voting for Jeremy Corbyn.

I started these remarks by saying that Vote Leave was a cross party endeavour and I believe that at this election we need to come together again – setting aside party allegiance - to get Brexit done and to heal the country.

In this election I will not vote for Jeremy Corbyn but I can vote for Brexit.

This is, after all, the Brexit election.  

And a vote for Boris Johnson this time around is a vote to get Brexit done.  

To do so does not make me and would not make you a Tory.

Rather, it is the best option for all those who like me still share Labour’s traditional values but who voted to Leave and who want certainty and an end to the stagnation, division and delay.

I urge other Leave voters across the country to join me in voting for Brexit one more time by voting for Boris Johnson on December 12th so together we can finish the job we started; we can take back control and we can get Brexit done.

Speaking in London, Boris Johnson said:


“Thank you Gisela, thank you Michael.

As Gisela and Michael have said, we came together to campaign to leave the EU because we shared a vision for this country.

and we believe that this is a great country which could achieve so much more if it was freed from the shackles of the EU.

We agreed that too many in our country felt powerless and left behind and wanted more control over their lives.

We agreed that Brexit was a chance to change Britain for the better.

and so it has been incredibly frustrating and frustrating for the 17.4 million people who voted leave – that change has been delayed, diluted and denied.

Which is why we had to call an election in order to break the deadlock in parliament.

Now we have the opportunity to make a decisive break with the dither and indecision of the last three and half years – so long as people vote Conservative.

If there’s another hung parliament after this election then the deadlock will continue.

The probability is that Jeremy Corbyn will be in Downing Street, propped up by Nicola Sturgeon. Gisela and Michael have powerfully set out what a terrible prospect that would be.

But if there’s a Conservative majority government, we can deliver the change people voted for.

How?

By getting Brexit done, and unleashing Britain’s potential.

Our first move will be to bring the Withdrawal Agreement Bill back before Christmas and then leave the EU on 31 January.

No ifs and no buts – we’ll get it done. I have total confidence we will do it, because every single Conservative candidate at this election has personally pledged to me, and to their prospective constituents, that they will back my deal.

It’s a deal that allows us to take back control of immigration, introduce an Australian-style points based system, and improve our border security.

It’s a deal that stops ongoing contributions to the EU budget and let’s us redirect funding to domestic priorities.

It’s a deal that means we can get rid of the EU rules and regulations which have often held us back.

And when we get the deal through, we can finally move on as a country and realise the opportunities of Brexit.

Today we are setting out specific ways in which we will change EU law so we can enjoy the benefits of Brexit without delay.

We’ll back British businesses, by ensuring the public sector buys British.

We’ll scrap the Tampon Tax.

And we’ll back British industry, by making sure we can intervene when great British businesses are struggling.

These are just some of the benefits which will directly result from leaving the EU – in addition, we’ll also take steps to ensure that the Australian-style points based immigration system is in place by 1 January 2021. By lowering the number of unskilled immigrants who have been able to come here with no job lined up, the system will remove a major force that puts a downward pressure on wages.

Getting Brexit done will enable us to deliver change more widely.

We can invest in the NHS, recruiting 50,000 more nurses, delivering 50 more GP appointments and securing the equipment and drugs we need to keep people safe and well.

We can invest in schools, ending unfair funding differences by increasing the minimum amount of funding per pupil to £4,000 in primary schools and £5,000 in secondary schools.

We’ll crack down on crime, by putting 20,000 more police officers on our streets and introducing tougher sentences for the worst offenders.

We’ll help the high street, by cutting business rates and investing in local places.

And we can do all this without raising income tax, National Insurance, or VAT.

No other party can deliver this change, because they would all be stuck in a hung Parliament, arguing among themselves about Brexit. Which is why the only way to secure change at this election is with the Conservative Party.

If we do this, we will at last be able to lift ourselves out of the present morass and go forward with confidence.

We are a great country and we can be greater still.

We’ll make Britain the best place in the world to live, raise a family, grow up and to see your grandchildren grow up.

The best place to start and grow a business, and the best place for education, innovation and science.

We’ll deliver an NHS which looks after us when we are sick and brings us back to health.

Schools which give our children the start they deserve in life.

An effective crime-fighting strategy.

Control of our immigration system which protects our borders.

A clean and green environment we can hand on to the next generation.

a country that is more united, more confident, with opportunity spread across the whole UK so that we unleash the potential of the whole country

This is the change people voted for in 2016.

It’s high time to deliver it.”

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)