Penny Mordaunt – 2018 Speech at Global Disability Summit

Below is the text of the speech made by Penny Mordaunt, the Secretary of State for International Development, on 24 July 2018.

It is wonderful to have you all here today, especially you your Excellency and the first lady of Ecuador. Here at the London Olympic Park – host to the world’s largest Paralympic Games in 2012 and the spiritual birthplace of the first-ever organised sporting event for disabled athletes in 1948.

I am delighted to be here today co-hosting this event with Government of Kenya and International Disability Alliance.

Thank you all for joining us today – and in particular, thanks to the Disabled Person’s Organisations and people with disabilities, who have led this Summit from conception to delivery.

Today, we have come together to work as partners and collectively step-up our efforts to improve the lives of people with disabilities around the world.

We are here to tackle the root causes of stigma, discrimination and abuse; to work towards inclusive education and employment for all. And to harness the power of technology, innovation and assistive devices for people with disabilities across the world.

Today we focus on moving from words to action; working together as partners; and holding ourselves and each other to account for our promises.

We are all starting from a low base – and the UK recognises we also have work to do as well and that is why today we will launch a range of dedicated policy and programming to champion the rights of the most marginalised and vulnerable people with disabilities.

We will launch ‘AT Scale’, a partnership for assistive technology (with partners such as USAID, WHO, UNICEF and GDI Hub) to transform access and affordability for life-changing Assistive Technology (AT) such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, hearing aids and glasses.

Access to AT is a critical enabler for inclusive education, economic empowerment and participation in communities. But at present only 10% of the 1 billion people in the world who need assistive products and services have access to them.

Our ambition is that 500m people globally will be being reached by essential assistive technology by 2030.

We are launching a DFID Scale Up on Inclusive Education – with a new education policy that has a clear promise for the most disadvantaged children. Through strengthening education programming; we commit to support countries including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Pakistan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Jordan.

In Ethiopia, we will transform and develop 687 Inclusive Education Resource Centres (IERCs) nationwide by 2022 to promote the inclusion of 24,000 children with disabilities.

In Rwanda, we will train 12,000 teachers of English and Maths in inclusive education teaching methods.

In Tanzania, we will support important reforms in primary and lower secondary schools to improve learning outcomes for all children particularly for girls and children with disabilities.

We are also launching the Disability Inclusive Development Programme – a new six-year cutting-edge innovation and scale-up programme to find out what works, for whom, when and why.

Through a ground-breaking consortium, led by Sightsavers, several UK International NGOs and Summit co-hosts, International Disability Alliance, the programme will deliver tangible outcomes to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

This includes improved educational attainment and health outcomes, jobs and livelihoods and reduced stigma and discrimination.

By 2024 we aim to enable up to 100,000 women, men, girls and boys with disabilities to access health services; up to 45,000 people with disabilities to increase their incomes; 10,000 children with disabilities to go to school and access education as well as reaching millions of people through interventions to tackle stigma and discrimination.

We are also committed to a DFID scale up on disability inclusion over the next 5 years and we will be publishing a new disability framework later this year, setting out how we would put disability at the heart of our work. And the legacy today will be a ten point Charter for Change which I would like us all to sign up to. This plan for action will be published and fully accessible. Progress will be monitored regularly and we will all be held accountable for our pledges. Empowering people with disabilities does not just affect the individuals – it leads to better decisions and more effective outcomes for communities, for nations and for the world.

Unless every one of our citizens can reach their full potential our nations never will. Let today be the start of our journey.

Now is the time.

Theresa May – 2018 Speech at NHS 70 Reception

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, at a reception on 4 July 2018 to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

I am delighted to welcome you all to Downing Street to help mark what is a very special birthday of a very special institution.

In my line of work there are not many ideas from 70 years ago that are unquestionably supported today, but that is undoubtedly the case with our National Health Service.

In a world that has changed almost beyond recognition, the vision at the heart of the NHS – of a tax-funded service that is available to all, free at the point of use with care based on clinical need and not the ability to pay – still retains near-universal acceptance.

And that tells us a lot.

Not just about the principles behind the NHS, powerful though they are.

But also about the people who, for 70 years, have turned those principles into practice on daily basis.

People like you.

There are the doctors, nurses, midwives and all the other health professionals on the front line – and the staff who support them, from porters to ward clerks to receptionists.

Across the country there are thousands of GPs, dentists, optometrists and others providing care under the NHS umbrella.

Then there are the patient advocacy groups, the volunteers, the researchers…

Many of you here today have been a part of the NHS family for 40 years or more.

That’s an amazing achievement, and I know Jeremy – a man who knows a lot about long service – will be presenting you with commemorative badges to mark that later this evening.

Others among you are, through your innovations, shaping the future of the NHS and of healthcare itself.

Some of you are just setting out on what I hope will be long and rewarding careers.

Yet all of you share one common trait.

Every day, you get up and go to work so the NHS can continue to do what it has done every day for 70 years – provide the British people with some of the best healthcare in the world.

I want that to continue.

But for that to happen we must recognise that the NHS conceived by the likes of Beveridge, Willink and Bevan was created to serve a very different country in a very different time.

Today, thanks to the NHS, people are living longer – but that brings with it an increase in dementia and other conditions associated with old age.

Childhood obesity risks burdening the next generation with a lifetime of ill-health.

And our understanding of mental health has progressed significantly – it can no longer be treated as somehow “less serious” than physical ailments.

The NHS of yesterday was simply not designed or equipped to deal with these kind of issues.

The NHS of tomorrow must be.

That’s why, last month, I set out the priorities that will guide our long-term plan for the future of our NHS.

A plan that will put the NHS on a sustainable path for generations to come.

At its heart is new investment: an extra £394 million per week in real terms by 2023/24.

But, important though that is, we all know that good healthcare is about more than money.

So I have asked the NHS itself to draw up a 10-year plan to make sure every penny of the new funding is well-spent, and that leaders are accountable for delivery.

Frontline staff like you will be involved in the plan’s development, so it delivers for patients and for the Health Service.

I know that you got into medicine and healthcare because you want to make a difference, you want to help people get better or manage their conditions.

Yet too often we see bureaucracy getting in the way of care, with process being put before patients.

So the plan will highlight what changes we could make so that you can concentrate on putting patients first.

I know that there is fantastic, innovative work going on right across the country.

That the answers to many of the challenges we face can already be found in the best of what the NHS does today, for example in bringing different teams together to provide care closer to home.

So the plan will make it easier to share this best practice, letting everyone learn from what works and avoid what doesn’t.

I know that your dedication to your work is total.

But I also know that, sometimes, you can be frustrated by staff shortages, and that you rarely enjoy the flexibility or work/life balance that many people now take for granted.

We have already removed the cap on the number of foreign doctors and nurses who can come here each year, to relieve some of the immediate pressure on staff numbers.

The plan will go further, investing in the workforce and introducing modern working practices so that the NHS is not just one of the biggest employers in the world, but also one of the best – managed in a way that works for patients and staff alike.

Finally, I know that those of you who have worked in the NHS for many years will have already seen enormous changes in medicine.

In the past 40 years alone we’ve heralded the arrival of synthetic human insulin, IVF and the HPV vaccine.

More change is coming.

As we stand here today, scientists are working to harness the power of genomics, Artificial Intelligence and more.

Healthcare does not stand still – and nor should the NHS.

So the plan will help the Health Service embrace the technology of tomorrow so it is fit to face the challenges of the future.

Everyone in this garden, everyone in No 10, everyone in this city and beyond will have their own story of what the NHS has done for them.

And that’s because it’s not the Labour Health Service or the Conservative Health Service – it is the NATIONAL Health Service.

It belongs to all of us.

It is there for all of us.

For 70 years it has been a great British achievement of which we can all be proud.

In the years to come I want to make it greater still.

And, whether you are just starting out or have already given a lifetime of service, I look forward to working with you to make that happen.

Sajid Javid – 2018 Statement on Amesbury Nerve Agent Incident

Below is the text of the statement made by Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, in the House of Commons on 5 July 2018.

With permission Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement regarding the events that have been unfolding in Amesbury and Salisbury.

This morning, I chaired a meeting of the government’s emergency committee COBR covering the ongoing investigation in Amesbury.

I have been separately briefed by the Security Services and the counter terrorism police.

As many of you will now know, a 45 year old man and a 44 year old woman were found to be unwell at a property at Muggleton Road in Amesbury on Saturday.

Both are British citizens.

Paramedics attended the scene and admitted the pair to the A&E department at Salisbury District Hospital. Here they were treated for exposure to an unknown substance.

Further testing by expert scientists in chemical warfare at the Porton Down laboratory confirmed this to be the nerve agent of the type known as Novichok.

This has been identified as the same nerve agent that contaminated both Yulia and Sergei Skripal. The pair are currently in a critical condition and I’m sure the whole House will want to join me in wishing them a swift and full recovery.

I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the emergency services and staff at the Salisbury District Hospital for their tireless professionalism and for the dedicated way they are providing it. I understand that there will be some concerns about what this means for public safety. In particular, I recognise that some local Wiltshire residents will be feeling very anxious. Let me reassure you that public safety is of paramount importance.

Public Health England’s latest assessment is that based on the number of casualties affected, there is no significant risk to the wider public. Their advice is informed by scientists and the police as the facts evolve. Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, has confirmed that the risk to the public remains low and has asked that the public follow the advice of Public Health England and the police.

She has also advised that people who have visited the areas that have been recently cordoned off should wash their clothes and wipe down any items they may have been carrying at the time. She has also urged people not to pick up any unknown or already dangerous objects such as needles or syringes. This is not new advice and it follows on from what was said in March.

We have a well-established response to these types of incidents and clear processes to follow.

All the sites that have been decontaminated following the attempted murders of Sergei and Yulia Skripal are safe.

All sites which have been reopened have undergone vigorous testing and any items that may have harboured residual amounts of the agent were safely removed for disposal.

We have taken a very robust approach to decontamination and there is no evidence that either the man or the woman in hospital, visited any of the places that were visited by the Skripals.

Our strong working assumption is that the couple came into contact with the nerve agent in a different location to the sites which have been part of the original clean-up operation.

The police have also set up two dedicated phone numbers for anyone with concerns relating to this incident.

Salisbury District Hospital remains open as usual and is advising people to attend routine appointments unless they are contacted and told otherwise. We are taking this incident incredibly seriously and are working around the clock to discover precisely what has happened, where and why.

Be assured that we have world-leading scientists, intelligence officers and police on the case. Local residents can expect to see an increased police presence in and around Amesbury and Salisbury. All six sites that were visited by the pair before they collapsed have been cordoned off and are being securely guarded as a precaution.

An investigation has started to work out how these two individuals came into contact with the nerve agent. Around 100 detectives from the Counter Terrorism Policing Network are working to support this investigation, alongside colleagues from Wiltshire Police.

Obviously this incident will invoke memories of the reckless murder attempts of Sergei and Yulia Skripal earlier this year. This is the leading line of enquiry.

However, we must not jump to conclusions and we must give the police the space and time to carry out their investigations. The police’s work will take time.

But we are ready to respond as and when new evidence comes to light and the situation becomes clearer. Following the events in Salisbury earlier this year, we rapidly worked with international partners at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to confirm our identification of the nerve agent used.

Through a process of extensive, impartial testing and analysis, our findings were confirmed correct beyond doubt. The use of chemical weapons – anywhere – is barbaric and inhumane.

The decision taken by the Russian government to deploy these in Salisbury on March 4 was reckless and callous. There is no plausible alternative explanation to explain the events in March other than that the Russian state was responsible.

And we acted accordingly.

The British government and the international community immediately and robustly condemned this inhuman action. In light of this attack, the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats from our shores. And we were joined by 28 of our closest international allies in this action – from the United States to Ukraine – who expelled over 150 of the Russian-state’s diplomats.

We have already seen multiple explanations from state-sponsored Russian media regarding this latest incident. We can anticipate further disinformation from the Kremlin, as we saw following the attack in Salisbury. And as we did before, we will be consulting with our international partners and allies following these latest developments.

The eyes of the world are currently on Russia, not least because of the World Cup.

It is now time that the Russian state comes forward and explains exactly what has gone on so that the most appropriate course of action can be taken. Let me be clear, we do not have a quarrel with the Russian people. Rather, it is the actions of the Russian government that continue to undermine our security and that of the international community.

We will stand up to actions that threaten our security and the security of our partners. It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets. Or for our streets, our parks or our towns to be dumping grounds for poison. We will continue our investigations as a matter of urgency, and I will keep the House and the public updated on any significant developments.

I commend this statement to the House.

Damian Hinds – 2018 Speech to Children’s Services Sector

Below is the text of the speech made by Damian Hinds, the Secretary of State for Education, in Manchester on 5 July 2018.

It’s great to be able to join you here today and to have this opportunity to speak to so many of you.

Particularly so in Manchester because today the country is celebrating the 70th birthday of the NHS – which, of course, was launched not far from here by the then Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan, at Park Hospital in Manchester, now Trafford General Hospital.

Today the nation is saying thank you to all those people who make the NHS what it is – the doctors, nurses, paramedics, support staff. We can never pay them sufficient tribute.

But standing here today, there are many more people, who deserve greater acknowledgement and thanks for dedicating their lives to public service.

You and your teams have an enormous impact on our society and some of the most vulnerable people in it, an effect that stretches far in to the future.

And I wanted to begin my remarks today with a heartfelt thank you to your teams, from the office staff to the frontline workers. Thank you for your commitment, your hard work and your dedication. Thank you for all the patience, empathy and resilience that is required to do jobs like yours.

Of course, many jobs can be challenging, intense, long hours, but few jobs come with quite the same kind of stakes as yours. The weight of responsibility when you are charged with protecting and supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society; the unique pressure of making decisions that will not just affect one child, but whole families. Whole communities.

I’m well aware that, at times, our social workers witness life at its bleakest, humanity at its most desperate… They glimpse worlds that many of us never see – and, perhaps, try not to see.

But, then, they and you also bring a lot of hope in to people’s lives. So many children and families depend on you for your support.

Which, of course, you do not always receive a lot of thanks for.

Indeed, I know when it comes to social work, celebrating the successes can never be quite what it is in other workplaces. Not because they aren’t hard-won but because success is rarely something you will hear heard shout about, success is what to many families feels like normal.

And, of course, there are no headlines about the children being protected thanks to your efforts, the families who get the support they need to stay together, the children who you find good homes for and good schools for.

But as a society, we do owe you a debt of gratitude – a debt I want to acknowledge today.

One of the things that has come across to me since starting this job and speaking to social workers, teachers, staff at my own Department for Education, is that you come to feel responsible for an enormous and diverse family: concerned with child protection and nurture, education and character development, worrying about the preparation for and transition to adulthood and will the child of today be ready for the world of tomorrow.

The same questions we ponder as parents for our own children.

And for children growing up in 2018: on one hand, you look at life expectancy and technology, opportunities for travel, record employment – in some ways it seems young people have more opportunity than ever.

At the same time, we have to recognise that there are unique pressures on children growing up now that didn’t exist a generation ago, as they navigate a virtual world as well as a real one. One in ten children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition, which is a shocking statistic.

For those children with disadvantages that start from birth, or even before, it is much more difficult. They depend on our support from their earliest years, right through to adulthood.

And, yes, we have made significant progress on behalf of these children:

We introduced 15 hours of free early education a week for the most disadvantaged two-year-olds, which 72% of eligible two-year-olds now take up;
We are trialling new projects to support parents to read at home with their children to help with early language and literacy;
Our £200million Innovation programme in children’s social care projects is helping us find new and better ways of supporting vulnerable children;
Our Pupil Premium has made sure there is more support for those children who start school behind throughout their time at school;
And we’ve seen the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers at GCSE level shrink by 10% since 2011;
And we’re doing more to support care leavers when they finish school, including a £1,000 bursary for care leavers starting an apprenticeship.
But of course there is a great deal more to do.

Yes, there are examples of high performing Local Authorities and schools that defy the odds, with children succeeding despite a difficult start in life.

But, children in need across the piece still have some of the worst outcomes at every stage of their education – in early years, they are two thirds as likely as peers to meet the required standard, by GCSE they are just a quarter as likely as peers to achieve good grades.

And these groups also struggle later in life. Many of them end up leaving education early and experience joblessness. Too many end up on a pathway to welfare or even prison.

We must be more ambitious for the most vulnerable kids, helping them to overcome the difficult starts and disadvantages. That is what progress for our country should mean.

I have the same aspirations for the most vulnerable, disadvantaged children in our society, as I do for anyone.

Whether they have special educational needs, whether they are in care, or come from a troubled home, I want every child to be able to do their best.

So, high ambitions, high expectations for every child. I’m going to talk about a number of priority areas for achieving this today.

To begin with, I wanted to say a few words about the workforce. Nadhim will be saying more about this later.

But I’m also going to stress my personal commitment to the people who actually deliver the care, on the front line. I’m determined to help you recruit, retain and develop the best, building on our great schemes like Step Up and Frontline to help recruit bright graduates, but also supporting existing social workers to get the skills and knowledge they need through new qualifications, continuing professional development, our leadership development programme.

People are by far our best asset in this effort – it’s the people on the frontline who have the most significant impact on children’s lives and I’m committed along with Nadhim to championing this profession.

I want to turn now to one of the profession’s most fundamental responsibilities. A responsibility that we all share – that of keeping children safe.

We know the devastating consequences when we fail in this most sacred of duties. We need no reminders of the individual children whose names are indelibly written on our collective conscience.

Driving improvement is about those few terrible cases, but it is also about the many: the estimated one in five children who will have had some contact with children’s social care by the age of five.

In response, Ofsted now have a better framework for inspection, based on a better understanding of risk. The Government have also been quick to intervene directly where the standard of care has simply not been good enough.

And I’m pleased that since June last year, 12 local authorities have improved their Ofsted rating from inadequate to requires improvement or good under Ofsted’s Single Inspection Framework, following intervention.

We know that Children’s Services Trusts are improving services – Children’s social care services in Doncaster are now ‘Good’, having improved by two Ofsted judgements since the Doncaster Children’s Services Trust took over services in 2014.

But, of course, we shouldn’t be waiting for failure when we could instead prevent it. And that’s why our new £20million improvement strategy for children’s social care is helping councils share best practice and deliver peer-to-peer support.

And if safeguarding is a fundamental responsibility, I’m clear that it is also a shared one, which is why yesterday we announced our revised statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children This puts in place a stronger and more collaborative local approach to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.

We will now see a more integrated system where the police and health services work with local authorities and with schools and early year’s providers.

I mentioned the poor outcomes for Children in Need and we have launched a review, to understand precisely why this happens, and what works to improve them.

We know Children in Need are more likely to have mental health needs but as I’ve said this is a wider problem, affecting too many children. And we’ll soon be publishing further detail on our £300 million plans to improve mental health services for all children and young people – including reducing waiting times and mental health leads in schools.

I also want to talk in some detail about our efforts on behalf of children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities.

Right now, around 15% of children have special educational needs. These are often the already vulnerable and disadvantaged children who are much more likely to be identified with these needs. Half of children in need are identified with special educational needs.

And, let’s be clear, our ambition for these children is exactly the same as it is for all children – we want them to be able to do their best in school and in college and reach their potential, and, afterwards, to find employment and lead happy and fulfilled lives.

Since 2014, we introduced major reforms to support these children – and I want to thank you and your teams for helping to deliver these reforms.

You have now reviewed over 98% of SEN statements, transferring children to Education, Health and Care plans where appropriate. The next step is to focus on driving up the quality of these plans.

And you can see many examples of local authorities, schools and colleges who are taking innovative approaches to working with these children and achieving great results. For example, Ofsted and CQC local area inspections have reported that:

In Gloucestershire, the local authority is successfully developing post-16 internships through strong collaboration with local colleges and employers. As a result, young people who have SEND are increasingly successful in gaining high-quality work experience.

And in Wiltshire, the proportion of 19-year-olds with SEN support with qualifications at level 2 including English and mathematics is rising, and an increasing number of young people who have SEN and/or disabilities are getting and sustaining paid employment.

However, the experiences of children and their parents is clearly inconsistent across education, health and social care – with too many parents still saying it’s a fight to access services for their child.

Ultimately, the gap in outcomes between children with SEND and other children is still far too wide. In particular, when they leave school, young people with an EHC plan are still twice as likely to be out of education, employment and training.

This needs to change. And I do recognise here that both Local Authorities, schools and colleges are feeling the pressure when it comes to budgets.

While we had record investment in the education for children with complex SEND at £6 billion this year – it’s clear that budgets are under pressure. And, frankly, this is difficult – I can’t say today that I have all the answers. But I am listening to your concerns.

And, today, I want to set out some key ways I believe we can work together, in terms of both addressing the pressure on budgets and delivering the best for children with SEND.

Firstly, on the role of mainstream schools in meeting special educational needs.

We know there has been a steady movement of children with special educational needs out of mainstream schools and into specialist provision, alternative provision and home education.

At the same time, rates of exclusion have begun to rise after a period of having calmed down.

And I hear too many stories about off-rolling, with schools finding ways to remove pupils, outside of the formal exclusions system. And of what is, essentially, pre-emptive exclusion, where parents looking at secondary schools are actively or in some way subtly discouraged from applying to a particular school for their child.

And I want to be clear right now: this is not okay. SEND pupils are not someone else’s problem. Every school is a school for pupils with SEND; and every teacher is a teacher of SEND pupils.

And all schools and colleges – alongside central and local government – have a level of responsibility here, it cannot just be left to a few.

Nor should we forget that a significant consequence of this trend away from mainstream schools into specialist provisions is extra pressure on council’s high needs budgets.

Children, young people and parents should – and do – have a strong say in all of this, and I am clear that specialist provision can be the right choice for those with more complex needs.

But mainstream schools and colleges – with the right support and training – should also be able to offer strong support for many more children and young people with EHC plans, as well as high quality SEN Support for those without plans.

So I want to both equip and incentivise schools to do better for children and young people with SEND.

This includes working with Ofsted to make sure our accountability system sufficiently rewards schools for their work with pupils who need extra support, and to encourage schools to focus on all pupils, not just the highest achievers.

Second, I want to look at how my department, working with the Department for Health and Social Care and NHS England, can support local authorities and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to more effectively plan and commission SEND provision.

In addition, I will be asking Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission to design a programme of further local area SEND inspections to follow the current round, due to conclude in 2021; and for their advice on further inspection or monitoring of those areas required to produce a ‘Written Statement of Action’.

And thirdly, I want to increase our efforts to help young people with SEND access opportunities that will help them find employment – building on the work we’re already doing such as the supported internships programme.

SEND is a huge priority for my department – and we’ll be saying more about all of this in the coming months.

Another place where we need to raise our ambition, a place where the children with these different additional needs often end up together – in Alternative Provision.

Here again, we know there are amazing examples of outstanding Alternative Provision settings going above and beyond to help children in challenging circumstances to achieve their potential.

But, still, the quality varies greatly – too often expectations for pupils are set too low and when they reach the age of 16, they are not well set up to move on to further study, further training or a job.

Earlier this year I published a roadmap for reforming Alternative Provision that will see us focus on sharing best practice across the sector.

I also launched the AP Innovation Fund, and I look forward to announcing successful bids very soon.

I’m committed to improving the Alternative Provision offer for all pupils.

At the same time, I am clear that pupils should only be placed in alternative provision when it best meets their needs.

Moreover, I am clear that permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort.

Which is why, earlier this year, we asked Edward Timpson to carry out a review in to exclusions, in particular looking in to why certain groups of pupils – including those with SEND and particularly ethnic minority pupils – are more likely to be excluded than others.

I know that, after opening his call for evidence, Edward received over 900 responses from parents, schools, local authorities and other organisations. He has also been talking to experts in local authorities and schools. We expect him to report back by the end of the year.

The final point I want to make this afternoon is around the importance of supporting care leavers when they leave school.

It can be a very lonely, very frightening time. And we share a responsibility to act as a corporate parent, making sure that care leavers get the support they need to make a successful transition from care to independence and adult life.

We know care leavers often say they don’t know what support they may be entitled to. That is why we are introducing the local offer – one document, designed by each local authority together with their care leavers, setting out their legal entitlements, and also any discretionary support that the local authority provides, such as exempting care leavers from paying Council Tax or free access to all of the Council’s leisure services.

We hope that the local offer will create a ‘race to the top’ with authorities comparing and contrasting their local offers with those of other councils and asking the question ‘if that council is offering council tax exemptions, why can’t we?’

However, I fully appreciate that councils can’t do it all by themselves. Nadhim will be talking later about our care leaver covenant that we will launch in the autumn – which is all about how central government departments, businesses and wider civil society can all make a specific offer of support to care leavers.

We can talk about the cost to society – both economic and social – if we pay insufficient attention to those children who have the most difficult starts in life and the biggest barriers to overcome.

But, in the end, this what you do is about doing what’s right. It is a moral right that these children should have the opportunity to reach their potential, as well as every other child.

That means not tolerating low expectations. It means setting our ambitions high and all of us working together – government, councils, schools, the health service, police – encouraging innovation to figure out what works, celebrating success and spreading best practice.

It is not easy – but we need to stick at it. So all children have the highest standard of education, training and care…so they can gain the knowledge, skills and resilience needed to build happy, fulfilled, independent lives.

I commit to working together, to make sure every child can do their best.

Philip Hammond – 2018 Speech to European Business Summit

Below is the text of the speech made by Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on 24 May 2018.

Thank you for inviting me to speak at this conference, and to address this distinguished group this afternoon.

It’s apt that I speak today on the anniversary of another momentous event for European unity and shared values.

Sixty-two years ago today – as a war-torn Europe rebuilt itself – countries across our continent came together to form a positive vision of a tolerant, free Europe…

…where talent and hard work was recognised…

…and established a new pan-European partnership.

I am not speaking about the Treaty of Rome, or the formation of the European Economic Community…

…but of the first Eurovision Song Contest.

And I can tell you that today, the Eurovision Song Contest is one of the very few issues that generates as much debate and strength of feeling in the UK as the European Union itself does.

But we all take part in it…

…and we all accept the rules of it. Even when we lose.

And today, I want to reflect on the enduring shared values of our continent…

…and on the shared opportunities, and the shared challenges that lie ahead.

And this summit…

…bringing together leaders from both government and businesses…

…comes at an important time for our continent:

Because while the global and European economies have recently enjoyed a period of relative strength…

…we cannot take this for granted…

And the geopolitical context is increasingly uncertain…

…whether it’s the presence of an emboldened and re-arming Russia on Europe’s eastern doorstep…

…the ongoing escalation in tensions across the Middle-East…

…or uncertainty around the policy of Europe’s largest trading partner, the US, on trade and tax reform.

And governments across Europe…

…and indeed around the world…

…are having to manage a rising tide of sentiment among our electorates, against the conventional wisdom of free trade, globalisation, and the benefits of the liberal market economy…

…an argument that as leaders in government and business we must make all over again;

These are challenges that face all of us across this continent…

…challenges we must confront if we are to deliver the security, prosperity and higher living standards for our citizens for which we all strive.

But my message this afternoon is that there are significant shared opportunities too…

One such opportunity that I spend a lot of time talking about, is presented by the coming technological revolution…

…a revolution that will shape people’s lives and have far-reaching implications for our economic model…

…and will have a long-term impact on all our economies, far bigger in scale than the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.

Of course, such profound change brings with it major challenges…

…such as evolving our tax and regulatory systems…

…our competition policies, so they are fit for…

…for the digital age…

ensuring that our people have the skills they need to prosper in a world of increasing automation;

and convincing them that everyone can share in the proceeds of this technological change and the economic growth that can flow from it….

At a time of unprecedented scepticism of our liberal market economic and political model…

That requires collaboration and cooperation.

And if we want European values and interests to prevail in this debate we must ensure that Europe speaks with one voice.

Of course, as Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, my most immediate priority is our negotiation with the EU…

…but the point is, that the challenges and opportunities facing our economies and societies are shared challenges and common opportunities…

…And our shared values and shared history….

…go back far beyond our membership of the European Union…

…or even Eurovision…

…and they will continue far beyond the timeframe of Brexit.

And our continent’s shared commitment to economic openness, democratic values and human rights…

….and our shared belief in the power of the liberal market economy to deliver rising living standards for all of our people…

…remains unshakable.

With our different history, culture, and outlook, the British people decided that the deep political integration to which the EU institutions increasingly aspire, was simply not right for Britain…

…but the British people have not, and never will, turn their backs on free, open and fair trade with our European neighbours. That is an established part of our economic culture – going back to Hanseatic times and earlier.

Britain is leaving the political institutions of the EU; but it is not leaving Europe

And British prosperity is, and always will be, closely bound to European prosperity.

So Europe’s success – and the success of the Euro as a currency – is very strongly in Britain’s interest, and we will not do anything which jeopardises that success.

Our economy is recognisably a European-style economy…

…with high levels of consumer and worker protection, a highly developed social welfare system and strong environmental standards…

…and it is the clear wish of the British people, regularly demonstrated, to keep it that way…

…as we build a new deep and special partnership with the European Union.

We have made significant progress since Article 50 was triggered, just over a year ago…

…both in our own internal debate about what Brexit should mean…

…and in our negotiation with the EU.

The first stage in the negotiations successfully settled many withdrawal issues, including the UK’s financial obligations, in December.

And in March we reached agreement on a transition period, running until the end of 2020…

… during which businesses can operate exactly as before…

…ensuring only one set of changes, at the end of that period, that businesses have to navigate.

We are now focussed on our future customs relationship, and our future economic partnership, and I’ll briefly say a bit about both.

I know that for business getting clarity on our future customs relationship is a top priority…

…and so it should be a top priority for European governments too.

EU27 businesses export more services to the UK than to any country outside the EU.

Almost 80% of Irish poultry exports go to the UK…

…one eighth of German automotive exports…

…10% of all French cheese exports.

And here in Belgium, almost half of the total tonnage handled at the port of Zeebrugge last year, went to, or came from, the UK – up from just a third in 2011.

Over 1 million cars were transported between Europe and the UK via Zeebrugge…

…up 80% on seven years ago.

The UK is exploring two possible future customs models…

…both are “works in progress” with more work to be done…

…but we are confident that, building on the work we have done already on these models…

…we can develop a solution that responds to the concerns of business…

…minimises frictions and burdens at and behind the border…

…avoids new barriers in Ireland…

…and sustains our trade with the EU27.

And beyond customs, we seek a comprehensive future economic partnership …

…a partnership that protects the supply chains and established trade relationships that I have just talked about…

… safeguards the jobs and businesses that depend on them on both sides of the Channel…

…and promotes the values we share across the continent of Europe.

And of course, in doing so, we don’t have to start from scratch.

The UK and EU27 are in a unique positon:

…with deeply interconnected economies and supply chains…

…a starting point of common regulatory standards and regimes…

…and unrivalled collaboration in everything from trade, security and defence…

…to people to people exchange, education, science, technology, culture and many other shared areas.

There are a range of possibilities for the shape that our future relationship could take…

…and those of you who follow UK media, as I know many of you do, will recognise there is a range of views in the UK about those options.

And we will set out in the coming weeks more detail on the British Government’s ambition for a mutually beneficial future relationship between the EU and the UK…

…in the context of our vision for the UK’s future role in the world.

For example, we’ll seek a comprehensive system of mutual recognition to ensure that, as now, products only need to undergo approvals in one country to show that they meet regulatory standards across Europe;

We’ll explore the terms on which the UK could maintain a continuing relationship with EU agencies, such as those for chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace, so that they continue to benefit from UK expertise and we can deliver such a system of single approvals;

On services we have the opportunity to establish a broader agreement than has ever been done before, including continued recognition of professional qualifications, and a labour mobility framework that enables travel to provide services to clients in person.

We seek a bespoke partnership in financial services, that will enable the ongoing delivery of cross-border financial services in both directions, while protecting financial stability and maintaining fair competition.

I believe it is very much in our mutual interest to maintain access to London’s financial services market for Europe’s business and citizens.

We manage in the UK more than EUR1.5 trillion of assets on behalf of EU clients;

Around two-thirds of debt and equity capital raised by EU corporates is facilitated by banks based in the UK. 78% of European Forex trading and 74% of European interest rate derivatives trading takes place in the UK. These are services that businesses rely on to run their operations efficiently, with the benefit passed on as lower prices for consumers in all 28 EU countries…

…and more competitive exports to the rest of the world.

And we should be under no illusion about the significant additional costs if this highly efficient market in London were to fragment.

Costs that would be borne by Europe’s businesses and consumers.

And more prosaically, while we are working through the spectrum of issues in relation to our future relationship…

…we are also making progress with the introduction, application and transformation of the many technical systems and processes that underpin the trade relationship between the UK and EU so that we are ready for exit whatever our future relationship.

But reaching a vision of a deep and comprehensive future relationship will only be possible if both sides want it.

A deal only works if it works for both parties as we say: “it takes two to tango”.

And I am saying this to you this afternoon, because I fear that many EU opinion-formers in government and in business, see the Brexit challenge as simply one for the UK to resolve.

And I understand the temptation to say “let the brit’s sort out what they want – and then come back to us”.

But this has to be a two-way conversation.

Because the final deal won’t be determined simply by what Britain wants…

…it can’t be just about British prosperity and British jobs…

…it must also be about European prosperity and jobs.

And if EU27 Member States don’t want to have a close future economic, security, technical relationship with the UK…

…then it won’t happen.

So we need a frank conversation about our shared appetite for such a future close partnership.

Do we both want it? Or don’t we?

If we do, let’s focus on making a deal that works.

Personally, I passionately believe that all of us in this room, and across Europe, should be interested in an outcome that properly reflects the 45 years that we have spent together as members of the EU…

…that reflects our shared history and shared values…

…and looks forward to the challenges and the opportunities, which we will face so much more effectively by working together.

There is no denying that there are a range of complex issues to resolve…

…but I believe that with the political benefits articulated by the Member States; with the economic logic, articulated by the voice of business…

…we can make the case for a close future partnership – the UK, the EU; governments and businesses…

…working in the common interests of all of our citizens.

Ensuring Europe’s voice in the world…

…a strong voice for the values that reflect the lessons of our Continent’s long and turbulent history…

…at a time when others sometimes appear tempted to forget those lessons…

…to step away from those values.

So let us resolve today to work together to ensure that all of Europe remains an open, outward looking free-trading Continent…

…attracting talent and capital from around the world.

Let us build a future partnership that we can be proud of…

…one that will stand the test of time

…and that will support the prosperity, security and living standards of our children, and our children’s children.

The voice of business a decisive influence as we take this debate forward…

…and I look forward to the common sense, pragmatism and economic logic of business playing a crucial role as we shape our future relationship

Thank you.

Sajid Javid – 2018 Speech to Police Federation

Below is the text of the speech made by Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, at the Police Federation conference on 23 May 2018.

Good morning and thank you Calum.

Now this conference has quite a reputation.

A reputation for giving speakers a difficult time.

For asking questions that sometimes no one wants to answer.

For having the toughest crowd of any speech in the political calendar.

Anyway, at least that’s what the Prime Minister told me!

Now most Home Secretaries get a bit more run-up time than I’ve had before standing on this stage.

They have time to prepare themselves, cement their views, to hone their points and to maybe think of a few jokes.

I haven’t had that luxury.

I’m still in my first full month on the job.

So there’s still a lot for me to learn.

I know that you might be sceptical about what I’m about to say.

You’ve seen Home Secretaries come and go –

I think I’m the 40th Home Secretary since the Federation was founded 99 years ago.

They’ve come from every point on the political spectrum.

But one thing we’ve all had in common is that not one of us, not one Home Secretary, has ever served as a police officer…

Not one.

And I’ve been told I’m the first Home Secretary with a police officer in my immediate family.

Now I can’t blame you if you’re sitting there thinking to yourself –

“this guy may talk a good game, but he’s just like every other politician.”

And I’m sure some of you, right now, are thinking that there’s no way I can understand policing.

The work you do, the difference you make, the challenges that you face.

That I just don’t – and that I won’t – get it.

But that’s where you’re wrong.

My family grew up on a road in Bristol described by one national newspaper as “Britain’s most dangerous street”.

One journalist referred to it – and I quote – he called it a “lawless hellhole where murder, rape, shootings, drug pushing, prostitution, knifings and violent robbery are commonplace”.

But to us, it was just home.

All my parents wanted for me and my brothers was for their boys to do well – to work hard and to play by the rules.

But today I’ve got a confession.

When I was younger, I was in a gang.

A gang of two.

It involved me and one of my brothers.

I was ten, he was eight.

Our gang was called The Crime Busters.

Our mission was to find crime and to bust it.

Our equipment: two knackered old bikes and two cheapo walkie-talkies.

We had a passion to find and fight crime on Britain’s most dangerous street.

One of us used to patrol the streets the other one used to hang out at a phone box in case there was an incident and he had to call 999.

We didn’t get very far the walkie-talkie had a distance of about three metres.

I hope your equipment is a bit better.

Years later, that brother is still a crime buster, only this time, for real – as a Chief Superintendent – having started as a PC some 25 years ago.

Over the years, I’ve heard what he has to say about policing.

I know the tricky situations that he’s been in.

He’s been hospitalised more times by being assaulted on duty than I care to remember.

I remember him missing Christmas once after having his jaw dislocated.

I’ve seen the impact the job has on family life.

And as you would expect from a brother, he doesn’t shield me from the truth.

Long before I was a politician, he took me out on a ride-along in the back of his police car in Bristol city centre.

I thought it would be an interesting insight into his job.

But I wasn’t prepared for the abuse he and his colleague received that night:

Teenagers giving them the middle finger, swearing and spitting.

And worst of all, at one point when his car approached the lights and slowed down…

…one teenager leaned over and yelled at my brother –

“You Paki bastard”.

That was the first time it really hit me just how hard and horrible it can be being a police officer.

I asked my brother why the police spent so much time in that neighbourhood given that they clearly weren’t welcome.

And you know what he said?

“It’s where we’re needed most”.

Only five words…

…but five words that have summed up for me everything that makes our police officers so special.

That sense of duty is what drives you in everything that you do.

From physically taking on violent criminals, to breaking bad news to bereaved families.

You are there.

From handling tragedies like Grenfell, to providing security and peace of mind at events like the Royal Wedding.

You are there.

There is no greater testament to your bravery and the honour of police than the roll call of those who have fallen in the line of duty in the past year.

We are deeply indebted to these officers who made the ultimate sacrifice serving the public…

… and we must take this moment to remember them and the families they have left behind.

So, I would like to pay tribute to PC James Dixon and PC David Fields.

And PC Steven Jenkins who fell ill whilst on duty and then passed away.

This week, we also remember the extraordinary acts of bravery from police in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.

We remember those officers who ran in to help and protect the many innocent people who found themselves caught up in that attack.

We remember DC Elaine McIver who lost her life in the attack whilst off-duty.

And we must also remember those officers who got to London Bridge following that attack in just eight minutes. Saving countless lives.

I am also hugely grateful to Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey…

…one of the first at the scene at Salisbury who put himself at great risk so that he could help others.

You see, every single day, you make the brave decision to pull on that uniform and go out to work….

… not knowing what you’ll have to deal with on your shift.

People call policing a ‘job like no other,’ but you simply call it ‘the job’.

For me, this world of policing yes it may be new – but this is my fifth job in government.

And in every single role that I’ve had in government I have seen the importance of the police.

When I was Culture Secretary, I saw how much harder the job was made because of social media.

As Business Secretary, I knew that a strong police force creates the environment that we need for our economy to prosper –

Everything from defending property rights to tackling fraud.

As Communities Secretary, I saw first-hand how you work in some of the most challenging places, where the underlying problems are not of your making.

And in my life before politics, I saw many places in the world where the public suffered from the absence of a professional police force.

I saw how bad things could become when the police are ineffective, corrupt, or too politicised.

That’s why I see the police as one of the institutions we can be – and are – most proud of in our country.

But I’m not arrogant enough to stand here today, stand in front of you, after three weeks in the job and tell you how to do yours.

What I will say is that I am listening and that I do get it.

I get that there’s increased demand.

Yes – traditional crime is down by a third since 2010 – a big credit to your hard work.

But more crimes – like hate crimes and sexual offences – are being reported than ever before.

There’s also been a recent increase in serious violence – including homicides, knife and gun crime.

I am absolutely determined to put an end to the appalling violence that is terminating young lives so soon.

The threat from terrorism has also escalated and evolved.

And crime is increasingly taking place online.

The internet has emboldened criminals to break the law in the most horrifying of ways…

… with platforms that enable dangerous crimes and appalling abuse.

Since becoming Home Secretary, I’ve spoken to frontline officers about your experiences of crime and policing.

You’ve told me that you feel stretched, overburdened and not sufficiently rewarded.

I know how frustrating it is when your days off get cancelled – at very short notice.

And I know your work can take its toll on your mental and physical health.

You deserve to be respected and valued, but all too often what you get is abuse.

So let me say this.

I want you to have the resources that you need.

Since 2010, we have prioritised strengthening the economy and this involves making some difficult funding decisions throughout government.

All of us have played our part in bringing down the deficit.

So we must all continue to live within our means…

…I recognise that we need to prioritise public investment in policing.

We’re giving PCCs the flexibility to increase council tax contributions to policing.

This has helped deliver a £460m increase in total police funding this year.

We’re now investing over £1bn more in policing than we did three years ago, including money raised through council tax.

But we need to think more about the long term funding of the police.

So, my pledge to you is this:

I will prioritise police funding in the Spending Review next year.

But this isn’t all about money.

You have a job like no other.

You never know what you’re going to be faced with.

It might be a murder case, child abuse or a serious car accident.

And it’s not surprising that dealing with all that takes its toll on you.

And has you have rightly said, throughout this conference, and as Calum rightly said, we need to protect the protectors.

The government has already pledged £7.5m for a new national police welfare service – it is a step, one step, in the right direction.

But together, I want us to totally transform the welfare provision for officers.

When you’re out in public trying to do your duty, you should be protected.

That’s why I’m backing the Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill…

…which will include tougher penalties for those who attack police officers and other emergency service workers. That’s why I’m supporting changes to the rules on police pursuits.

To make it clear that a criminal is responsible for their decision to drive recklessly, not the police.

That’s why I’m making sure that you have the right kit and the right technology to do your jobs effectively.

It makes no sense that where many of you change your personal mobiles every two years, at work you’re using some technology that dates back to the 1990s.

That’s why we’ve recently improved fingerprint technology…

… which will allow officers across the country to use smart phones to identify people faster than ever before. That’s why I also support the roll out of body worn cameras…

…which not only capture the evidence first hand but has also made people think twice before assaulting you. And I fully support those officers who want better protective equipment like spit and bite guards.

I find it absolutely ridiculous that anyone should object to you restraining those who physically abuse you.

And of course, tasers are also an important tactical option for officers dealing with the most serious and violent criminals.

If you don’t feel that you’re getting the tools you need to do your job, I want to know about it.

But you don’t just need kit – you need powers.

And to help you tackle violent crime.

I will be bringing forward new laws which will make it harder than ever before to buy and possess guns, knives and acid.

And as Home Secretary, I will continue to look at what other powers you need to do your jobs more effectively.

That means looking at Stop and Search.

Some of you don’t feel comfortable using it.

And that’s not how it should be.

I have confidence in your professional judgement.

So let me be clear,

I support the use of Stop and Search.

You have to do your job and that means protecting everyone.

Evidence shows that if you’re black, you’re more likely to be a homicide victim than any other ethnic group.

If Stop and Search can mean saving lives from the communities most affected, then of course it has to be right.

I am new to my job.

I don’t claim to be a policing expert and I’m not going to claim to have all the answers.

But as much as possible, I want to hear from you.

I want to hear about your experiences working on the frontline.

No doubt you’ll tell me much more about them as I get out and about and meet many more of you in the weeks and months, and hopefully years, that lie ahead.

And I know that Nick Hurd the Policing Minister has already spoken to all 43 forces, officers in all 43 forces and will be continuing to do that.

I’ll also be setting up a much more formal Frontline Review to get your feedback and learn what you really think. Your ideas and responses will inform what actually happens in policing.

Because I so understand that no-one knows more about policing than you do.

But I also know that the public demand – and quite rightly expect – a high standard of support from their local police.

And ultimately, I want to reach a place where every member of the public is served by a force which is at least rated ‘good’.

But currently, nearly a third of forces are not.

And there is a big gap in efficiency between the top and the bottom.

So I want standards to be raised and to be more consistent.

I want any bad behaviour to be rooted out.

I want victims to get better treatment.

I want to see more collaboration and sharing best practice – at whatever level makes the most sense.

And I want the Federation to lead by example.

Showing greater transparency in the publishing of accounts and expenses, and continuing to show leadership on implementing reforms.

And I don’t want any of you to believe that some changes belong in the “too hard to do” box.

I want you to be bold and ambitious and to change the bits which don’t work – or put pressure on your bosses to make it happen.

It’s often said that British policing is the envy of the world.

Everyone in this room wants to keep it that way.

Let’s reset the relationship between the government and the police.

I will give you the tools, the powers and the back-up that you need to get the job done.

For those of you who stand on the frontline, be in no doubt, I will be standing with you.

Thank you.

John Major – 1993 Speech to Conservative Central Council

Below is the text of Mr Major’s speech to the 1993 Conservative Central Council meeting, held in Harrogate on 6th March 1993.


Yesterday this Conference paid its tribute to Nick Ridley.

He was an original. A one-off. And whatever he did he faced the world square on and never once flinched.

The Commons was the poorer when he left it. And the Party is the poorer for his loss.

Mr Chairman, in the last two years events have thrown at this country everything they could.

Abroad – we’ve had the Gulf War, the Yugoslav war, a world recession that gets worse abroad as it gets better here. There have been plans from Europe that we’ve had to water down or reject. At home we have had our share of world recession, a difficult general election, and conflicts on Europe that strike deep at the instincts of many in our Party.

Mr Chairman, on these issues it’s right that we should have vigorous debate. When people feel strongly they should express their views. Argue their case. Fight their corner.

But once we have taken our decisions on how to proceed, then I believe we should all support those decisions. The British people put us back in power to carry on with the full range of our policies. They gave us five years to beat inflation, create growth and jobs, improve choice, fight crime and maintain the unity of the United Kingdom.

Mr Chairman, that is what I want to see this Party and this Government do. And I want to see us do it now – and I want to see us do it together. It is in difficult times like these that the Conservative Party most needs to be united – and to stay united.

At the last election we had one of the biggest leads in votes ever recorded. But only a 21 seat majority – now, sadly, for the moment only 20. So these are difficult days. We no longer have a cushion of 100 seats, and those who want us to be successful know what that means. Let me say it bluntly – disunity is a luxury we cannot afford.

Mr Chairman, none of us should forget the scale of the responsibility placed upon us. On April 9th last year, 14 1/4 million people turned to us – people of all ages, all walks of life, from all corners of Britain. Every one different. Each with their own personal hopes and fears. They all trusted us with the hard job that lay ahead.

We must live up to that trust. That does not mean responding to every short-term whim. It does not mean avoiding difficult decisions. It does mean holding fast to the long-term course that will bring us prosperity, growth, and jobs, even in the teeth of short-term difficulties.

Those short-term problems have often caught the headlines. But they have not prevented progress towards our long-term objectives. So let me put it all in perspective. Let me remind you of what we have done in the last eleven months – smack in the middle of a world recession.

I’ll start with the Health Service. Remember what Labour said about health. They said if we won it would be the end of the Health Service. One year on, we have more National Health Service Trust hospitals and more GP fundholders providing better care to more patients than ever before.

The end of the Health Service? One year on, it’s not the NHS that’s falling apart; it is Labour’s scares that have fallen apart. Remember that truly disgraceful election broadcast? That was the one in which Robin Cook predicted the end of the NHS. Well today the Health Service is moving on – and Robin Cook has been moved on. Out on his Jennifer’s ear – and deservedly so.

As hospitals have become self-governing – running their own affairs – so have schools. Over 500 have chosen the new freedom to become Grant Maintained. They have moved out of the hands of local authorities and into the care of governors and parents.

And we’re promoting subject teaching in primary schools – so much more important than vague topic work and generalised themes. So it’s maths, geography, science and history lessons. And putting emphasis right from the start on standard English and on the 3Rs.

That, Mr Chairman, is the right Tory agenda – and we have put it in place in the first year. We’re supporting good teachers and putting the spotlight on the bad. Publishing the exam results of every school.

Mr Chairman, those results should never have been hidden in the first place. Now we’ve brought them into the open. And they will never be hidden again.

And, one more thing, Mr Chairman. When we talk of publishing the facts, I must say this to those teacher unions that are threatening to boycott tests – you are wrong. Life is a test. You do pupils no good by hiding them from reality.

To teach children what they need to know, we must find out what they don’t know. Tests are an essential part of good schooling. Tests are here to stay. And I hope the teacher union leaders get that message loud and clear from this Conference. And, before I leave education, here’s something for the history books.

By 1996 nearly a quarter of a million extra students will be in college – the biggest expansion ever. And when they are there they won’t have to join the activities of the National Union of Students – because we are ending the NUS closed shop.

That’s the right Tory agenda – and all in the first year. And it is not only the NUS monopoly that is going – remember Neddy, that hangover from the 1960s, that corporatist relic?

Well, that’s gone, too. Unlamented. We have scrapped it. And not before time. We are giving new freedoms to members of Trades Unions. And new powers for every individual to act in court to stop wildcat strikes. All part of the right Tory agenda – and in hand in the first year.

And the Tory programme to promote ownership is rolling forward, too. We have introduced a new incentive for personal pensions. One that will help millions enjoy their retirement in comfort and security.

In housing, we are back on course for the home-owning democracy. We have a new scheme to help tenants become homeowners by treating rents as mortgage payments. We’re giving leaseholders the right to buy their freeholds. And later this spring Michael Howard and his team will launch a new campaign to spread the Right to Buy.

That’s the right Tory agenda – this Government’s agenda. Never mind the news – that’s the reality.

All that sounds like a full menu for a full Parliament. Yet all I have done is to give you a selection of starters. Your starters for 5, 10, 20 years, years in which we will indeed – build a stronger and better Britain.

Fine words, you say. But fine words butter no parsnips. What about jobs? I know that the main thing so many people seek above all is a worthwhile job. That is why, from April, we will have in place the most comprehensive package to help people back to work that we have ever seen in Britain: youth training, Training for Work, Restart, Job interview guarantees, business start up schemes. Schemes that will help up to 1 1/2 million of our fellow citizens keep in touch with the world of work.

And those schemes all have one thing in common. Every one was opposed by the Labour Party. How can they defend that? They call for help for unemployed people and then vote against it.

We want our training schemes to lead to full-time jobs. It’s permanent jobs that people want. The only way to get people permanently back to work is to help the economy grow. To improve our skills. To promote our exports. To widen our manufacturing base. And to make it worthwhile to start new companies.

That’s the road back to jobs. Permanent jobs. Jobs with prospects. And that’s the road we are travelling. The outlook for our economy is good. Interest rates down. Inflation down. Strikes down. Manufacturing productivity up. Retail sales up. Exports up. That’s what’s happening. And that’s the way back to work for Britain. The only way.

The prospects for the Nineties are good. It’s been slow, frustratingly slow. But we are on our way. And don’t just take it from me. Over the next two years Britain is forecast to have the highest rate of growth in Western Europe.

If we have confidence in ourselves others will have confidence in us. And when confidence grows jobs must follow. Some people still haven’t quite grasped the progress we’ve made.

So let me put this way. 1954 – that’s 39 years ago, the year Roger Bannister ran the 4 minute mile – that was the last time the January inflation rate fell to 1.7%.

And 1956 – 37 years ago, the year Jim Laker took 10 Australian wickets for 88 at the Oval and, no, drat it, I wasn’t there! – that was the last time mortgage rates for first time buyers were as low as they are, now.

So, for goodness sake, let’s not belittle what we’ve done. Let’s not run our prospects down. Let’s leave that to the Labour Party. Day after day they attack us for ‘talking the economy up’. What a crime. What a dreadful thing to do. Trying to instill confidence.

Well, it’s about time we got after them for talking the economy down. When did you last hear John Smith say a good word about Britain?

And another thing, is there anyone here who’s ever seen Gordon Brown smile? No one. I thought not. Is there anyone anywhere who’s ever seen Gordon Brown smile? Is there anyone who wants to see Gordon Brown smile? And by the way, has anyone yet seen Gerald?

Mr Chairman, there’s something else that is absolutely crucial to business confidence – the certainty that Britain will help determine policy in Europe, and not be dragged along behind a policy made by others. We should remember what we have achieved for Britain in Europe this year. We have every right to be proud of it.

We have completed the biggest free trade area the world has ever seen. We have reformed the Common Agricultural Policy after years of squabbling. We have put a ceiling on EC spending right until the end of the century. We have opened up the Community to new members. And we are changing the course of Europe – away from centralism and returning powers to member states.

That is the classic British agenda for Europe. It is not the federalist agenda. On crucial issues we are making sure the final say sits where it should be – right here in Britain. So let’s not fear the future in Europe. Let’s go out and shape the future of Europe. Shape a market of 340 million, where businesses can compete, export and invest wherever they like – where future generations will have opportunities we never dreamed of to work and to travel.

And we must shape a wider Europe. That’s what we decided at Edinburgh – to bring in new member nations, first from Scandinavia and later from central Europe. And we won agreement – against all expectations – that our old friends, the Poles, the Hungarians, and the Czechs would eventually join us.

Do you remember how as the Iron Curtain fell we welcomed them to our Party Conference two years ago? Well, we are still working on their side. And now – in time – we look forward to them joining the European Community, too – as a result of our influence.

The present Community is but a fragment of Europe. Our long- term vision is a Europe without trade barriers, a vast continent of free democracies, from the Urals to the Atlantic and from the Baltic to the Mediterranean.

A Europe full of trade and free of war. We won’t achieve that speedily – but isn’t that what we should work for for future generations? So let me tell you what’s at stake. I know the concerns and passions aroused by arguments over our future in Europe. I see them in the House of Commons whenever we debate the Treaty of Maastricht.

I understand the instincts and the patriotic feelings that motivate many in our Party who have doubts about the Treaty. I understand, and share, their pride in Britain’s great past. But we have to build a great future. So let me tell you, clearly and frankly, that I believe the fears of those who resist our European policy are mistaken.

Mistaken because they underestimate what we have achieved in our negotiations in Europe.

Mistaken because they have failed to focus on our wider vision of Europe.

Mistaken because if we step aside from what we have agreed there would be an enormous economic price to pay.

There would be an immediate blow to economic recovery. International investors, who have poured money into Britain, £100,000 million in the last five years, would turn their backs on us.

Those investors want access to the European market. And if we sidelined ourselves they would no longer be certain that that would be the case. That is why the price of standing aside from the agreement we freely made would be heavy. As Douglas Hurd told you yesterday, it would be £50 billion off our national production over the next five years. I wonder how many jobs that would cost?

And then there is that Social Chapter – another threat to jobs. Surely no-one in this Party – for any reason – would give houseroom to that. Where we want to be is on the inside track to prosperity, and outside the grasp of bureaucracy and socialism. Inside Europe and outside the Social Chapter.

I know our Party. I cannot believe that anyone, when they have considered all the facts, could want to let slip those opportunities before us.

Let me tell you what I believe. To do so would be to take a conscious decision to become irrelevant in Europe. That would be a decision not only for our time, but for our children’s also. It would be the surest possible way to impoverish our country and damage our standing in the world – almost beyond repair.

So let us put aside the fears and hesitations that hold our Party back. We may have our differences. But they are as nothing to the things that unite us.

So let us take the chance we have today – to mould Europe in our own image. Don’t let us shirk that challenge. In a thousand years of history we never have. And we must not now.

Mr Chairman, I want British industry to win not just in Europe, but around the world. I want a different attitude to industry at every level in this country. I want people to see that making things matters. I want more that matters to be made in Britain.

Our exporters need to know that the Government supports them. And where we can help to open doors and free up markets we will always do so. That’s why in the Autumn Statement we committed £700 million extra to help British companies win new orders. And when our businessmen travel abroad I expect all our embassies to work with them. Cultural exchanges are fine – but I want export deals as well.

Mr Chairman, exports are booming. Leaving the factories faster than journalists leaving the Daily Mirror. Mirror, mirror, on the wall – are there any journalists left there at all? In the battle for exports I want Government out there in the field foursquare behind our businesses.

A few weeks ago, I spent the morning in India, lunched in the desert in Oman, and had dinner in a palace in Saudi Arabia. And that day, as a result of months of effort by business and Government working together, we won orders for British goods worth billions and safeguarded thousands of jobs. These days there are no easy exports. The world is too competitive for that. More competitive than ever before.

Those countries that once were captive markets are now manufacturing themselves or challenging us as rivals. The countries on the Pacific Rim have developed massive industries of their own. China is set to become a huge manufacturing power in the century to come. Against that background, we need to help British companies carve out a bigger place for Britain. But before we export, we have to manufacture. And we have to manufacture quality.

That’s why we need to build up craft skills and practical training in every part of Britain. End once and for all that senseless prejudice against the best of our brains going into commerce and industry. That prejudice is damaging – and we can no longer accept it.

Mr Chairman, by helping business I don’t mean artificial subsidies to industries. I mean setting the right economic structure for business. I mean pursuing the right policies for business. I mean having the right curriculum in our schools. I mean reforming vocational training. I mean lifting burdens from the back of businesses.

Of course, we need some regulations. But there are people in Brussels, in local councils and, yes, in Whitehall who seem to have a mania to hold back the future in a mesh of pettifogging detail.

So I have told every Department of State: scrap unnecessary regulation. It’s a simple message. Red tape means lost jobs. And that doesn’t only apply to large companies like ICI. It applies to the smallest businesses and local services too.

You know what I mean. Health and safety enthusiasts bent on eliminating every conceivable – and inconceivable – risk. Local councils badgering good nursery schools when they’d be better employed helping them.

The food safety people who tell us that what we’ve been eating for generations will certainly kill us if we don’t stop instantly. Well we’ll certainly die a good deal sooner if we do stop eating instantly. Mr Chairman, it’s all gone way over the top. Well, I’d rather it went in the bin.

Isn’t it barmy? Would Drake have been in time to meet the Armada, and would Nelson have made Trafalgar, if an inspector had been on hand to say ‘Hold everything – we haven’t checked the ship’s biscuits!”

Mr Chairman, I said earlier that one of the reasons we were elected was to keep up the fight against crime. Vandalism; burglary; car theft. Crimes against property; crimes of violence; crimes involving drugs.

The fear of crime lies deep in the instincts of law-abiding people. They find it hard to understand how others move outside the law, careless of the interests of their neighbours, preying on the property of others, even threatening their lives. I said last week that we need to understand less and to condemn a little more. That was not a simple cry for retribution.

My point was this. Unless society sets rules and standards and enforces them, we cannot be surprised if others flout them. It’s true we mustn’t exaggerate the problem. Compared to many others in the world, Britain is still a safe country.

But those who point to that and say ‘do nothing’ are wrong. I say to those people: even if the problem here is smaller, it’s still far too big. And every single victim of crime in this country will agree with that.

That’s why this Government has done so much to step up crime prevention and crack down on crime. There are too many violent offences – that’s why we have increased penalties against them, especially for those thugs who go out carrying firearms.

There is too much drug dealing – that’s why we’ve taken powers to confiscate the assets of those who sell drugs and wreck the lives of young people. There have been too many lenient sentences – that’s why we’ve given the Attorney General power to refer sentences to the Court of Appeal. And one final example – it is intolerable that some offenders charged with a crime go out and commit another while they’re on bail. I want to see those further offences reflected in the sentences they receive.

Mr Chairman, there can be no doubt about where this Party stands in the fight against crime. And no doubt about the support we have given to those who fight it. We have given our police forces better pay and more resources than any Government in history. Now we must help them get even better results in everything they do. That is why we are now reviewing the effectiveness and the organisation of British police. I want our police to the most modern and the most efficient crime-fighting force in the world.

Mr Chairman, the issue of crime runs deep. To catch and to punish is to deter. But we want to prevent crime too. So we must go to the roots of why some young people do what they do. Too many children have been denied the proper guidance they need in their own homes and schools. Of course, the authority of the family comes in here.

And, yes, the churches – they may have a legitimate role to criticise, but they certainly have a role to play. And there’s another factor that goes right home in every sense. And that’s too much violence in videos and on television. What we watch is the single biggest influence on many people’s thinking.

We’re an open society. We can’t censor television. But we can say to parents – control what your children watch. And we can say to those who make and distribute films and videos – think whether a relentless diet of violence won’t have a serious effect on the young. And we can say to television programmers – don’t just be careful when you show it, be careful what you show.

Mr Chairman, Government alone cannot change behaviour. Concepts of right and wrong are something for all of us. But there are some things Government can do – and we will.

First, truancy. It is stark staring obvious to me that if children are staying out of school, they are not learning what they should be and they are probably learning what they shouldn’t. For too long the facts on truancy have been hidden by a conspiracy of silence. So from this autumn in our new league tables we will make all schools publish openly their levels of attendance.

We will find out where the problem is worst. We’ll target it and tackle it. I want our children in class. Not in trouble. And, Mr Chairman, we are taking another step. This morning Ken Clarke told you about his new proposals to set up secure centres for that hard core of youngsters who go on offending and reoffending, devoid, it seems, of any sense of fear or guilt about what they do.

Some say we shouldn’t respond. They say it’s a relatively minor concern. I don’t agree. I say that not to respond would be a double dereliction of duty. A dereliction of duty to the public at large. And, worse, a dereliction to those children. Because we let children down if we don’t set boundaries and enforce them. For their own good and for the good of their communities we must take those persistent young offenders off the streets.

It is a clear-cut idea, carefully worked up over these last few months, targeted directly at an obvious gap in the law. How strange – but how very revealing – that in a matter of minutes it was condemned out of hand by the new model Labour Party. When I heard that, it sounded just like the old unreconstructed Labour Party to me.

When the test came they failed it – so let’s give them another chance. We’ll set them another test. Eleven times in all Labour have voted against the Prevention of Terrorism Act. I find that unbelievable.

And so, I suspect, do the people in the battle against terrorism who are putting their lives on the line to protect the lives of others. Terrorism is the biggest crime of all. So for Labour let it be the biggest test of all. So no hedging, no weaving, no messing about. Let them vote with us next week – or pipe down about crime.

Mr Chairman, I’ve reminded you of some of the things we have done in these last few months – and set out some of our plans for the future. As always this Party is a reforming Party. And as a nation we need to reform. Because we live in a rapidly changing world. Change can be frightening. We must manage it carefully. Nurture it to our national advantage. Our watchword is – to hold on to the best of the past and to create the best for the future.

Mr Chairman, last March it was at this Central Council that we launched the General Election campaign – the election that no-one thought we could win. We took our message to every part of our country. It was the roughest, toughest campaign for years. But we won it.

And how did we win? By sticking to our principles. By keeping our nerve. By standing together. And, above all, by staying together. United. That’s how we won – and that’s a lesson we must never forget.

Alan Duncan – 2018 Statement on the Foreign Affairs Council

Below is the text of the speech made by Alan Duncan, the Minister for Europe and the Americas, in the House of Commons on 22 May 2018.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 16 April. The Council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini. The meeting was held in Luxembourg.​

Foreign Affairs Council – Syria

The Council discussed the latest developments in Syria, including the targeted US, French and British airstrikes on chemical weapons facilities. Ahead of the Brussels Conference on Syria and the region, Ministers discussed the need to relaunch a political solution to the conflict in the framework of the UN-led Geneva process. The Council adopted conclusions on Syria.


Ministers agreed on the need for unity on continuing the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). They encouraged the diplomatic efforts to ensure that there continues to be strong commitment to the agreement by all the parties involved. Ministers also discussed other issues outside the scope of the JCPOA, in particular the role of Iran in regional conflicts, not least in Syria and Yemen, as well as the EU’s concerns at Iran’s ballistic missiles programme and its human rights situation.


The Council agreed unanimously on the continued relevance of the five guiding principles that were agreed in March 2016. Following the Salisbury attack and the European Council conclusions that were agreed in March 2018, Ministers highlighted the need to strengthen the resilience of the EU and its neighbours against Russian threats, including hybrid threats such as disinformation campaigns. Ministers commended the work carried out by the East StratComms taskforce in the European External Action Service. Ministers also highlighted the importance of supporting Russian civil society and continuing to develop people-to-people contacts.

Western Balkans

Over lunch, Ministers discussed the Western Balkans in preparation for the EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia on 17 May 2018.

External action financing instruments

The Council held a preliminary exchange of views on the future financing of external action instruments after 2020. The Commission is preparing its proposal for the EU’s next long-term budget (the future multiannual financial framework, MFF).

Members agreed a number of measures without discussion:

The Council approved the annual progress report on the implementation of the EU strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which covers activities carried out in 2017;

The Council adopted conclusions on chemical disarmament and non-proliferation ahead of the Fourth Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to review the operation of the chemical weapons convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction. This session will take place in The Hague on 21-30 November 2018;

The Council adopted conclusions on South Sudan;

The Council adopted conclusions on malicious cyber activities that underline the importance of a global, open, free, stable and secure cyberspace where human rights, fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law fully apply;​
The Council approved the High Representative’s six-monthly report on Operation Althea, which covers the period from 1 September 2017 to 28 February 2018;

The Council adopted a decision approving Mazars and KPMG S.A. as the external auditors of the Banque de France, the National Central Bank of France, for the 2018-23 period.

Michael Gove – 2018 Speech on Clean Air Strategy

Below is the text of the speech made by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on 22 May 2018.

Today, the Government published their consultation on a clean air strategy. At the most fundamental level, our health and prosperity depend on the health of the planet on which we live. From the air we breathe to the water we drink, the food we eat and the energy which powers our homes and businesses, we need to ensure we have a healthy and sustainable environment.

Nowhere is this more true than in the case of air quality. Air pollution is a major public health risk ranking alongside cancer, heart disease and obesity. It causes more harm than passive smoking.

This clean air strategy sets out the case for action and demonstrates this Government’s determination to improve our air quality. Leaving the EU provides us with an excellent opportunity to be even more ambitious about achieving cleaner air for the health of the nation, and for our environment and the biodiversity it sustains. We want to do all that we can to reduce people’s exposure to pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, ammonia, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and sulphur dioxide.

Air pollution has improved since 2010, but we recognise that there is more to do. This comprehensive clean air strategy sets out how we will tackle all sources of air pollution, making our air healthier to breathe, protecting nature and boosting the economy.

Government must act to tackle air pollution which shortens lives. We are already acting to reduce concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (N02) around roads from cars, but vehicles are not the only source of toxic emissions. Air pollution is a result of the way we currently generate power, heat our homes, produce food, manufacture consumer goods and power transport. Better, cleaner technologies and simple changes in behaviour will tackle the pollution that claims lives.

The new strategy is a key part of our 25-year plan to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. It sets out the comprehensive action that is required from across all parts of government and society to meet the challenge. By 2025, we will halve the number of people living in locations where concentrations of particulate matter are above the World Health Organisation guideline limit of 10 ug/m3, protecting public health.

Through the introduction of new primary legislation, we will introduce a stronger and more coherent legislative framework for action to tackle air pollution, giving local government new powers to take decisive action in areas with an air pollution problem.

We are investing £10 million in improving our modelling, data and analytical tools to give a more precise picture of current air quality and the impact of policies on it in ​future. Alongside this, we will seek ways to support further investment in research and innovation, in partnership with UKRI, which will help the UK become world leaders in clean technology and secure further emissions reductions.

From farming to consumer products, a large range of other day-to-day practices, processes and products produce harmful emissions. Of particular concern is burning wood and coal to heat a home, which contributes 38% to harmful particulate matter emissions. It is why we will ensure only the cleanest fuels will be available for sale and only the cleanest stoves will be available to buy and install.

For the first time, the Government will take concerted action to tackle ammonia from farming by requiring and supporting farmers to invest in the infrastructure and equipment that will reduce emissions. The agriculture sector accounts for 88% of UK emissions of ammonia, and action by farmers can make a big difference in reducing the impacts of excess nitrogen on sensitive habitats and reducing the overall background levels of particulates in the atmosphere.

Government cannot act alone in tackling air pollution, and our strategy sets out how we will work with businesses, farmers and industry to implement lasting solutions to reduce air pollution, and the importance of each of us taking action and playing an important role in cleaning up our air for the next generation.

These actions will, we hope, ensure that this country is recognised as the leading global champion of cleaner air for the next generation.

Philip Hammond – 2018 Speech at CBI Annual Dinner

Below is the text of the speech made by Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on 22 May 2018.

Thank you, Paul.

And let me join you in commemorating those who lost their lives and those who were injured during the appalling attack in Manchester, a year ago today…

…our thoughts this evening are with the families and friends of those affected.

As ever it’s a pleasure to speak to you tonight.

And what a week it has been.

The Royal Wedding; the FA Cup Final; and now the CBI dinner!

And I’m especially pleased to be here this evening to mark the end of Paul’s three-year tenure at the helm.

I was doing a little research and stumbled across an FT interview with Paul in 2011.

When asked “which historical or fictional character do you most identify with?”, Paul replied, with characteristic modesty: “Nelson Mandela”.

History will determine!

Paul, congratulations on the achievements of your Presidency, and thank you for the leadership you have shown.

It was Nelson Mandela, reflecting on his first 100 days as President, who noted that “on occasion, strong language has been used to drive home a strongly held belief”…

…and he reassured his audience that this was a sign of “a robust, vibrant democracy, with broad consensus on the most important national questions”.

Paul, I will welcome your speech tonight as a sign of our “robust, vibrant democracy”!

Because we are in broad agreement on the big questions facing our country and our economy.

We agree that:

We must rebuild a consensus for the liberal market economy as the best way to deliver future prosperity.

We must embrace digital technology, and ensure Britain is at the forefront of the technological revolution.

We must invest in skills and training – to ensure the next generation is prepared for the economy of the future.

We must build the world class infrastructure and invest in the R&D needed to ensure Britain stays ahead in the global race.

We must raise our productivity – and thus deliver higher wages for people up and down this country.

And yes, we must deliver a Brexit that prioritises jobs, growth, and prosperity.

And it is absolutely my belief that central to all of this, is listening to business, and believing in the power of business to deliver higher living standards, and spread greater prosperity.

I can promise you, Paul, business advice is a welcome input, not an “inconvenient truth”!

So I hear the concerns you have set out tonight about the Brexit challenge…

…but I remain confident. And, by the way, when Donald Tusk says Brexit is the “saddest moment in Modern European history”…

…I assume he didn’t see this year’s Eurovision.

The PM has always had a vision for a close economic partnership between the UK and the EU…

…a partnership that protects supply chains, and established trade relationships…

…that backs businesses, and safeguards jobs…

…and that promotes the values that we share across the continent of Europe.

We have made good progress:

In March we agreed on an implementation period…

…which allows “business as usual”…

…and ensures you only have to navigate one set of changes.

Focus has now moved on to our future economic partnership, and in particular the customs relationship.

I have listened to the four customs tests you have set out tonight…

…and we share your aspirations to minimise frictions and burdens…

…to avoid new barriers in Ireland…

…and to grow British exports.

But we do not agree that staying in the customs union is necessary to deliver them.

The UK has proposed two possible future customs models…

…both are “works in progress”…

…but we are confident that, building on these two models, we can develop a solution that will allow us to move forward while meeting your concerns, Paul.

And beyond customs, we will seek a comprehensive system of mutual recognition to ensure that, as now, products only need to undergo approvals in one country to show that they meet regulatory standards across Europe…

…and we will explore the terms on which the UK could maintain a relationship with the EU agencies, such as those for the chemicals, pharmaceutical, and aerospace industries…

…as the route to deliver such an outcome.

On services, we have the opportunity to establish a broader agreement than ever before…

…including continued recognition of professional qualifications, and a labour mobility framework that enables travel to provide services to clients in person.

And an opportunity to seek a bespoke partnership in financial services…

…that will enable the ongoing delivery of cross-border financial services in both directions, while protecting financial stability and maintaining fair competition.

We made good progress in December and March, and I hope and expect we will make further progress at the upcoming June Council.

It is in the interests of both the UK and the EU to secure a mutually beneficial deal that will allow us to continue to have a close economic partnership…

…and to do so as soon as possible to give businesses the certainty they need.

I am confident that we will reach such a deal.

That is my most immediate priority as Chancellor.

But as we embark on a technological revolution that will transform our economy and our lives…

…my most important long-term challenge is to ensure that the UK continues to be at the forefront of that technological revolution, leading the world in innovation.

This is what our Modern Industrial Strategy is all about.

It isn’t about picking winners…

…or propping up failed industries.

But about exploiting the synergy between the facilitating power of the state…

…and the energy of the private sector…

…to deliver the innovation that will secure Britain’s future…

…within a market that is working properly and fairly.

Supporting entrepreneurship to ensure the industries of the future get off the ground…

…investing in research and development…

…ensuring that start-ups can access the finance they need to become “scale-ups”…

…and, most importantly, creating an environment where innovation can flourish.

And we’re putting our money where our mouth is…

…we’ve committed to the largest increase in public R&D spending in three decades, as part of our ambition to raise R&D investment across the economy to 2.4% of GDP.

We’re investing £640 million of public money in artificial intelligence and over £1.7 billion in autonomous and ultra-low emission vehicles…

…and in the Budget last Autumn I launched a plan to unlock over £20 billion of patient capital, for the UK’s most innovative firms to grow to scale.

But we won’t be able to put the UK at the front of the pack unless we have infrastructure that is fit for the future.

And that is why infrastructure is at the heart of our plan.

In the 18th century, it was canals;

In the 19th, it was the railways, and in the 20th the arterial roads and then the motorways.

In the 21st century, fibre networks will be the enabling infrastructure that drives economic growth.

We’ve already connected more than 95% of the UK to superfast broadband.

But we must now take the next big leap forward.

Full-fibre networks are faster, more reliable, and cheaper to operate than their copper predecessors.

Over a million premises already have direct access to them…

…70% of those connected in the last 18 months alone.

But if we are to achieve our ambition of a truly high-speed economy, and keep up with our competitors, then we need a step change in our approach.

So I am now setting a new target to see full-fibre to the premises connections being available to 15 million premises, that’s the majority of homes and businesses, by 2025.

This is ambitious…

…and it will require industry to connect more than 2 million additional premises a year for the next seven years.

We won’t do that by government diktat.

We will do it by creating the conditions for the market to deliver…

…and we will use all the tools at the government’s disposal to ensure that target is met…

…and we’ll go further, by committing to finish the job – and deliver a nationwide full-fibre to the premises network by 2033.

Running both copper and fibre networks indefinitely will not benefit either the consumer or the industry…

…so we must start thinking now about that switchover and how to sharpen the incentives for industry to move customers away from copper and on to fibre.

And Matt Hancock, the DCMS Secretary, will set out our strategy to deliver these ambitious targets in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, later this Summer.

The talent of the future.

The digital industrial revolution and Artificial Intelligence will bring about a step-change in automation.

This, in turn, will have profound implications for jobs, and the way we work.

And if we want our people to embrace the digital economy, we must support them when they are affected by automation…

…and help them train and retrain into the new high quality jobs of the future.

Because just as the assembly line allowed Ford to triple the number of cars produced per worker…

…cut the price of a car in half…

…and increase employment eleven-fold…

So the digital industrial revolution will also create millions of new jobs, and huge increases in living standards…

…but that will not reassure those whose current jobs will be displaced.

So, between us in government and business we have a vital role in managing this transition;

In investing in skills and retraining;

In providing the reassurance our workforce will need.

We have made a start.

Through the Apprenticeship Levy, we are increasing the quality of apprenticeships, and the capacity of the system.

We’ve already seen a 25% increase in higher level apprenticeship starts.

But I recognise the new levy system presents some challenges…

…and we’re listening to your concerns around flexibility, and will keep that issue under review to make sure the levy works as intended.

We’re investing over £500 million a year in our new T-Level technical qualifications…

…and with the help of the CBI and the TUC we are establishing a new National Retraining Scheme…

…to help adults faced with the consequences of technological change to re-train throughout their working lives.

It’s a groundbreaking collaboration and I’m delighted we were able to make it happen through the leadership of Paul and others here tonight.

But government cannot solve our nation’s productivity challenge on its own.

Because it is not only about infrastructure and skills…

It is also about management.

Britain of course has many world-leading companies with globally competitive productivity…

…but there are also far too many that could be doing a lot better.

Tomorrow I will publish a call for evidence into why some businesses aren’t keeping up and don’t learn from the best…

…seeking ideas for how government and industry can work together to help more firms realise their potential by taking best practice.

And in parallel with the call for evidence I will announce with Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, further steps to boost firm-level productivity.

We’ll invest £5.6 million to support smaller firms to adapt modern management practices and simple digital technologies, through two new pilot programmes delivered by Charlie Mayfield’s Be the Business.

And we’re extending our backing for the Made Smarter Digital Manufacturing strategy…

…led by Juergen Maier – and supported by the CBI.

Made Smarter will help to maintain our position as a global leader in the digital revolution…

…and so we’ll provide £20 million for a pilot in the North West, to support SME manufacturers to adopt industrial digital technologies, such as robotics and data analytics.

Before I close, I want to touch on one further, important issue.

I have talked about the big opportunities ahead;

But there will be big challenges too – and challenges that go beyond the mere uptake of technology…

…to pose questions about economic governance and the organisation of society in the 21st century digital economy.

For those of us who believe in the demonstrated power of liberal market economics to deliver both prosperity and political freedom…

…this is a question about how this most resilient of economic models transforms itself in response to the challenges of technological and societal change…

…as it has done so many times before.

For people of my generation – and looking around the room at many – though not all – of you, I see people who I think are of my generation…

…congratulations that you can still get out of an evening!

For people like us, who lived through the 1970s, the economic model [political content removed] is not a text book theory, but a vivid memory.

And for people in a small number of countries around the globe, it is a miserable reality today.

But not everyone in our society has shared that experience.

And some of a younger generation will be tempted by ideas that sound radical; maybe even “new” (even though they are rooted in a book written in the 1860s).

…because they do not feel the system is working for them.

Many of them have started their working lives at a difficult time for our country…

…emerging into the workforce as the financial crisis and its aftermath shook our system…

…and enduring a decade of recovery from it.

They look at their parents’ and their grandparents’ generations…

…at the home ownership levels, the defined benefit pensions, the traditional jobs…

…and they ask who or what decreed that so many of the things that previous generations took for granted, should be so much harder for them to obtain.

They are not looking for a hand-out…

…but they are looking for a reassurance that hard work will allow them, too, to achieve their aspirations for a better life for their kids.

And as we look forward to, and prepare for, the transformational impact that technology will have on our economy and our society…

…we must answer their challenge.

We must articulate how we will refresh our economic model to respond to technological change…

…in competition policy…

…in taxation policy…

…in ensuring an equitable distribution of the proceeds of growth as we manage the impact of smart automation and artificial intelligence on the world of work…

…so that it speaks to their values…

…addresses their concerns…

…and unlocks the door to the achievement of their aspirations…

…with solutions, which are framed not by the stale ideologies of the past, but by the exciting potential of our future.

Solutions that build on, not undermine, the liberal market economy that is the bedrock, not only of our prosperity…

…but of our freedom too.

I have spoken tonight of our strategy for negotiating Brexit…

…and of our vision for post-Brexit Britain.

It is a vision of an open, dynamic, evolving, market economy…

Of a Britain whose firms are at the cutting edge of technology and innovation.

A Britain with infrastructure fit for the future…

…and workers equipped with the skills they need for the challenges that lie ahead.

A Britain where government and business work together to realise the potential of unlocking Britain’s productivity puzzle…

…to deliver an economy that works for everyone.

That is our vision of the prize that lies within our grasp.

And I know we can count on British business to work with us to deliver it for the British people.

Thank you.