Below is the text of the speech made by Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, in the House of Commons on 17 December 2019.
Mr Speaker-Elect, I am sure that the whole House will join me in sending condolences to the families and friends of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones, who were murdered in the terrorist attack near London Bridge during the election campaign. We pay tribute once again to the emergency services and to members of the public for the bravery they showed.
Mr Speaker-Elect, I congratulate you on your office, and the hon. Member for Wigan (Lisa Nandy) who has just spoken. I do not know about you, Mr Speaker-Elect, as you survey the House from your eminence, with the characteristic beam that has brought you such deserved popularity, but I mean no disrespect to those who are no longer with us when I say that I think this Parliament is a vast improvement on its predecessor. Indeed, I would say it is one of the best Parliaments that this country has ever produced, with more female Members than ever before and more black and minority ethnic Members than ever before. It is also, incarnated in your person, Mr Speaker-Elect, a vastly more democratic Parliament, because it will not waste the nation’s time in deadlock, division and delay. On Friday, this Parliament will put the withdrawal agreement in the popty ping, as we say in Wales. Then this new democratic Parliament—this people’s Parliament—is going to do something. I wonder, Mr Speaker-Elect, if you can guess what it is. What is this Parliament going to do? We are going to get Brexit done. [Hon. Members: “Get Brexit done.”] Even your parrot would be able to recite that one by now.
We are going to get on with delivering the priorities of the British people—transforming the NHS; investing massively in education and the police; and uniting and levelling up across the whole UK. It is my belief that most hon. Members in this House believe we should resist the calls of those who would break up the United Kingdom. As the Parliament of the United Kingdom, we should politely and respectfully defend that partnership and the Union. I can tell the House that, after three and a half years of wrangling and division, the Government will do whatever we can to reach out across the House to find common ground, to heal the divisions of our country and to find a new and generous spirit in which we conduct all our political dealings with one another that will last beyond the immediate season of Christmas goodwill.
In that spirit, Mr Speaker-Elect, I congratulate you once again on your election and I look forward to the months and years ahead under your guidance.