November 13, 2019

Getting Brexit done and unleashing the potential of the whole country

The Prime Minister, speaking today at London Electric Vehicle Company in Coventry, said:

It is wonderful to be here at LEVC and I want to congratulate all the staff here on building

these amazing machines with their lovely traditional contours

burly, bulging and faintly reminiscent of a black bowler hat

but underneath this familiar silhouette there is now

technology so advanced that this machine can take you silently

from Uxbridge to Upminster, I think I am right in saying,

with barely a puff of CO2

Zero CO2

so that these taxis are beginning to cut thousands of tonnes a year from the city’s carbon emissions, 10,000 tonnes per year

and they are not only popular with the travelling public but with the taxi drivers themselves

believe me I can tell you they are pretty demanding clients

and in its ambition and daring I hope you will not mind if I identify this machine as a symbol of my type of Conservative politics

what I stand for and the approach I want to take

and what we the government have to offer the country in just a few weeks time

because I believe that it is the job of politicians to drive change

and I was, you won’t believe this, I was the midwife of this taxi

or one of the midwives

(we will come to investing in midwives later on, but I will come to that later)

I remember going to see Chairman Li of Geely in Beijing in 2008, and having my first meeting

and he said he wanted to buy the company that made London taxis

and I said, fantastic, let’s make them in Britain

and because I wanted to be sure

and chairman Li said he would

and chancing my arm, and because I was determined to tackle air pollution in London

I said, fantastic, let’s make them electric

and Chairman Li said he would see what he could do

“We will research it,” he said

and I can tell you, at that time, there were plenty of cynics

not least some of the manufacturers

who said diesel was the only way to go

they said that there wouldn’t be enough sockets for the plugs

that the battery would be so heavy that the taxi wouldn’t move

well I don’t know where they are now, but I hope that they are eating their words, ladies and gentleman

because you here at LEVC are making thousands of them

and here in the west midlands

the home of the first industrial revolution

we are seeing a new industrial revolution

a green industrial revolution

creating thousands of jobs of environmentally sustainable technologies and thousands of jobs

a glorious rebuttal to the sceptics who said it couldn’t be done

and in our world-leading technologies

from batteries to bioscience

the Britain of 2019 is in many ways a crushing rejoinder to the post war pessimism of so many in the British establishment who then believed

that this country was fated to decline

Today the UK boasts

more Nobel prize winners

than any country except the US

we dominate the global pop music charts

we even dominate the market I saw, in Hollywood superheroes – with British actors playing both spiderman and superman

and under this government we have an economy that has grown solidly for nine years, 20% bigger than it was in 2010

yesterday it was announced that the rate of unemployment has fallen to a low not seen since 1974

but you know, there is something frustrating for me about this recitation of triumphs

because it is only half the story of an economy that is still not achieving what it could

of a country that is like a cup-winning race horse trying to run on three legs

and with so much more potential

waiting to be unleashed

and that is why it is the mission of this one nation conservative government to unite and to level up across the UK

one nation Conservatives ensuring that everyone has safer streets

with 20,000  more police

lifting up funding for every school in the country

supplying massive investments in health so that you don’t have to wait to see your GP,

providing vastly better infrastructure

investing in the skills that will drive up productivity and drive up wages

with the biggest ever increase in the Living Wage we’ve announced to £10.50

so cutting the cost of living across the country

And that is the one nation programme on which this government is embarked and yet

my friends in Rugby, and I pay tribute to Mark Pawsey who is the local MP, he would want me to say that

we are blocked – we are stymied

for the last three months we have a parliament where there is no majority since I have been in office, to take forward those people’s priorities

a paralyzed parliament that simply refuses

time and again

to honour the mandate of the people and to deliver brexit

and that is why we need this election now

we have absolutely no choice

we must get brexit done

because we are democrats

There are millions who want to get brexit done because they voted leave

they believe that the EU has become something very different from when we signed up to the common market of 1975

and then there are huge numbers who may have voted remain

but who just want to respect the result of the referendum

and after three a half years they think it is time for the wrangling to end

and I don’t know about them but I am with them! Aren’t you?

we have to get brexit done because it is the best thing for our politics and for our psychological health

and we have to get brexit done because it is also the best thing for the economy

the uncertainty has become almost unbearable

people can’t make decisions

they are hanging fire

waiting to hire new staff

waiting to buy new property

UK already attracts huge quantities of FDI

£92 bn last year, more than any other country in Europe

but there is now a pent-up tidal wave of new investment

tens of billions more that could come to this country in the next few months

from people who we have the right time zone, right language excellent skills

the greatest universities in the world

they are just waiting to greenlight their plans

and if only we could get brexit done, we could end their uncertainty

and let me make no bones about it, one of the important reasons for voting Conservative is that

we can get it Brexit done now

we have a great deal – ready to go, just add water, stir in pot

the sceptics said it couldn’t be done, and they were totally wrong

this deal allows us to maximise all the opportunities of Brexit

from freeports to free trade deals

from cutting VAT on tampons to banning the cruel export of live animals

we can take back control of our money, our borders, our laws

we can take back control of our immigration system and decide democratically who gets to come here

for the good of the UK economy

AND it gives business complete stability and certainty as we make the transition in January and come out

and the best thing is that it is done, it’s complete, it’s ready to go,

it’s the blue peter deal – here’s one I made earlier

All we need is a working majority in Parliament to make Parliament work

just 9 more seats

and we can deliver Brexit in January

get parliament working for you and

we unleash the potential of the whole country

and get on with our agenda –

the only thing that held up that deal, you may remember, and tripped us up at the final hurdle –

was yes I am correct to say, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party

and what does Corbyn want

what would he do if the Corbyn-Sturgeon coalition were actually to form a government in this country?

His only path to power

If only we knew what he would do

the only hard crouton of fact in the great minestrone of muddle that constitutes Labour’s Brexit policy is that he wants

more delay – turning 2020 into the year of two referendums

as Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today

one on Scotland – on which his position is veiled in mystery

does he want to protect the union, or would he join Nicola  Sturgeon in trying to break up the most successful political partnership of the last 300 years?

who knows?

and as for his position on the EU, it is positively mind-boggling

he wants to negotiate a new deal – he wants another three months

and then he wants to spend six further months

asking the public to vote on his deal in yet another toxic referendum campaign

and we don’t even know what his own position will be

Will he campaign against the new deal he hopes to secure?

is he for leave? is for remain?

or is he like schrodinger’s cat – capable of occupying two contradictory positions at once?

one thing is clear: the Sturgeon-Corbyn alliance would consign this country

to months if not years of dither, delay, discord and division

when every month of pointless delay – insisted on by Corbyn by the way – is costing this country a billion pounds for nothing to stay in, right now

think what we could spend that billion on my friends, every month

- and that is net contribution by the way,

instead of sending it to Brussels

that is 20,000 police office – a billion pounds

we need to get Brexit done to end the uncertainty

and so that we can get on with our programme of uniting and levelling up

across the whole UK

because if the potential is enormous then so is the injustice

some regions are 50 per cent less productive than London

and there are some parts of the country where people lives are a decade shorter than other parts

and where educational outcomes can be vastly different

imagine if every child had the same start and the same encouragement

think of all that untapped talent in this country

– and yet the solutions to that inequality are within our grasp

Our ambition is to unlock the whole nation’s potential

through infrastructure, better education and technology

not just to close the opportunity gap between rich and poor

but also between the regions of this country

we are so ambitious that we believe we can help to close both gaps at once

not by decapitating the tall poppies

but by spreading equality of opportunity

there are some things everyone should have as a matter of right

freedom to walk the streets without fear of crime

we need to stop our kids getting sucked into the county lines drugs gangs, don’t we?

We need safer streets and proper punishments

that means a government that funds the police and that backs the police

that’s why we have already begun

not just by investing in 20,000 officers but also by backing them up with proper

powers to stop and search

and tougher sentences for serious sexual and violent crimes

and of course the best way to stop kids getting caught up in crime is

to give every child in this country an excellent education

and so we are boosting per pupil funding

so that each pupil gets a minimum of £4000 in primary school and a minimum £5000 in secondary schools

we are putting £780m more into special educational needs

we are putting £2bn into rebuilding our Further Education colleges

because they are a vital part of our education, it is not just about university, it is about giving kids across our country the skills we need

and as we leave the EU we will insist that all big new public sector projects must hire British apprentices so that they can learn new skills on the job

and at the same time as we improve

education we are ensuring that people are able to exploit the opportunities that are available to them – literally to find the work, the great work, the high skilled jobs, conveniently and affordably

and the only way to do that is to invest in superb transport communications

That is why this government is embarking on an infrastructure revolution

and yes that means some very big projects

I have done loads in London

fantastic new electrified rail

but it also means investing in the simple improvements that people have been craving

modernising roads and junctions that have become bottlenecks

and sources of massive local frustration and economic inefficiency

better bus services – which can make all the difference to towns and villages and rural communities

better cycleways – I am glad to see some nodding there – not always popular with taxi drivers in my experience - across the country

and we want every home, every business in the country to have the confidence and convenience that comes with gigabit broadband, and 5 G and 6 G mobile telephony

and that is how to unite the country and to raise productivity

Bring us together – education, infrastructure, technology, and

That is how you create the platform for growth

and if you create that platform for growth then the market will respond in two vital ways

if you have good transport, and a safe environment, and good schools

then suddenly the market will find that it can build thousands more homes – superb and affordable homes – on brownfield sites

giving young people the chance to have the keys to their own property

which every survey continues to show is one of our most fundamental instincts

- and we will help with a big expansion of part-buy, part-rent schemes to help people get onto the housing ladder

and if you have safe neighbourhoods

and decent housing

and a skilled workforce, and good transport links

then what happens?

you get business investment

you get confidence and you get jobs

and that is why you need a government that believes in business and

understands wealth creation and

the need to support family businesses, and cut business rates

There have been 1.4 m businesses created in this country since 2010

Napoleon said we were a nation of shopkeepers

and he was right by the way - there have been more businesses created in this country since 2010 than by France and Germany combined

and that is the balance and symmetry at the heart of our One Nation Conservatism

between fantastic public services and a strong dynamic market economy

when people get up at the crack of dawn to get their business ready, when people take out a mortgage for a new venture

when people have the guts to put a new product on the market

we don’t sneer we cheer for them

and to make sure that the businesses of this country can continue to innovate

I am announcing today that this government if we are elected will not only invest more to support electric vehicle technology

we will double funding for research and development to £18bn in the next parliament – the biggest ever increase in support for R and D

and we proudly back businesses across this country

because they are creating the wealth that actually pays for the NHS and everything else

they are creating the jobs and everything else

and that is the key difference between this government and the Labour party under Corbyn

It is not just that labour would be an economic disaster for this country because they would delay brexit yet again

they would simultaneously wreck this economy

with a £1.2 trillion spending splurge that would be instantly rejected by the markets

that would massively increase not just this country’s debt but the cost of our debt

a mortgage to pay for your groceries

that would make it impossible to make future sensible investments in the NHS and other great public services

and to pay for it they would put up taxes on every household in the country to tune of £2400 a year

in fact they are themselves so worried about a run on the pound that

John McDonnell who is the shadow Chancellor has already said he is actually going to impose exchange controls

can you imagine?

the only countries that have exchange controls these days are places like Angola, Zimbabwe or Venezuela – you guessed it

or do we want to have our economy run out of the playbook of Bolivarian revolutionary socialism?

I don’t think so

We can’t let it happen

but that is the choice at this election

You can come with us, and have a government that backs our armed forces as a power for good around the world

or you can have Jeremy Corbyn who has said he wants to scrap them

You can come with us, we support the police in fighting knife crime –

they say stop and search is inappropriate and oppressive

We want higher wages, and are raising the living wage by the biggest ever increase…Corbynomics means higher taxes for everyone

We know that the only way we can make our huge investments in the NHS is if we also have a strong and dynamic market economy

John McDonnell has literally said he wants to “foment the overthrow of capitalism”

we stand up for the people of this country when other nations threaten us with harm

and it was quite incredible that when Russia ordered the Salisbury poisonings Corbyn seemed actually to take the side of Moscow

Above all, we will get Brexit done and unleash the potential of the whole country

They want dither and delay

deadlock and division

doubt and despair all that goes with another referendum

I say to you all

let’s give that madness a miss

I want you to imagine what the country could be like in just 10 years as a result of the decisions we are taking now and have taken over the last three months

I want you to look forward to a Britain where the steets are safer, where the air is cleaner, where we have built 40 new hospitals as a direct result of the programme we have just embarked

a Britain where the ten year olds of tomorrow have benefited from the funding for literacy and numeracy that we are unleashing today and opportunity is being spread across the whole country

and where in ten years time scientists are starting to reap the huge rewards from our plans to double funding for research and businesses as well

from space to AI to the gigafactory for batteries we are going to build in the next three years

a Britain where we are uniting and levelling up

where great new infrastructure is helping to rebalance the economy, where we are delivering Northern Powerhouse rail AND a metro style system for the whole of the west midlands

a Britain where left behind towns have recovered their vibrancy and commercial life, with shops and businesses made possible by better transport and fantastic broadband

and with responsible local politicians who know how to champion their communities

and to build thousands of superb new homes on brownfield sites – and plant millions of trees not just because they are beautiful but because they will help us to deal with flooding and with climate change

I want you to imagine

a Britain whose regions experience a renaissance at the same time as our incomparable capital city lengthens its lead as the financial, business, tech, artistic, cultural, academic capital of Europe if not the world

and in ten years time I confidently prophesy that we will all be citizens of a

proud strong and whole United Kingdom, more united than ever, flying that red white and blue flag that represents the best of our values, from democracy to the rule of law

from free trade to free speech to the freedom to love whomsoever you choose

from tackling climate change to protecting the wildlife of the world from the tragedy of habitat loss and extinction

and a Britain that is able to lead the world - as we do – in tackling climate change and to reduce our CO2 to net zero by 2050 not because we hate capitalism, not just buy gluing ourselves to the tops of tubes trains or whatever, as important as that may be,

but because it is precisely companies like this one that make the brilliant technical breakthroughs that will enable us to cut CO2 and go carbon neutral by 2050

AND that help us to pay for great public services and create wonderful high skilled jobs

that is the vision we are offering – to make this country the greatest place to live, to breathe, to be, to raise kids, to start a business

the greatest place on earth

not necessarily the most powerful, the greatest place on earth

and I propose that we get on with it now

I don’t want to waste 2020 in two more soul destroying referendums

I want it to be an exciting and a productive year, a year of prosperity and growth

A year about this country and not about its politicians

Do you want to wake up on Friday 13th December and find a nightmare on Downing Street, a Corbyn-Sturgeon technicolour coalition of chaos?

Is that what you want?

It would be a disaster for this country

Let’s go for sensible moderate one nation but tax cutting Conservative government, and take this country forward.

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)