Liam Fox – 2017 Speech on Israel

Below is the text of the speech made by Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade, on 10 October 2017.

Good morning.

It is an honour to be here today to address the Jewish Care business breakfast, and to join the distinguished list of speakers who have addressed this gathering.

Over the course of my career I have had the pleasure to speak at many charitable gatherings, for a wide variety of good and noble causes.

I’m not sure I have ever, though, addressed a charity which is as comprehensive in its philanthropy as Jewish Care.

And your organisation not only provides important care for the elderly members of the Jewish community, but also for those with dementia, disabilities, or mental health issues.

You even provide leadership opportunities for young people, helping them to develop vital life skills.

Before I entered parliament, I worked as a GP. I have experienced first had how much of a difference charitable organisations like Jewish Care can make, caring for the most vulnerable people in our society.

It is work that is, sadly, too often overlooked by those without direct experience of it. Yet charities can provide targeted care within communities, often reaching parts where the state cannot.

For those of you in a generous mood, there are few organisations more worthy of your munificence.

I know that you have not invited the Secretary of State for International Trade here to wax lyrical about the virtues of Jewish Care, or of charity in general.

But I do see a clear connection between trade and philanthropy.

Without the prosperity that trade engenders, charitable organisations could not flourish, yet there is also a more immediate connection.

The great rabbinical philosopher, Moses Maimonides wrote that:

The highest level of Tzedakah or Charity, is that which enables the recipient to become self-reliant.

For millions of the world’s poorest people, trade has meant exactly that.

As economies across the world have liberalised, opportunities for employment, or commerce, have lifted billions from poverty.

According to the World Bank, the three decades between 1981 and 2011 witnessed the single greatest decrease in material deprivation in human history – a truly remarkable achievement.

It is hard to imagine an international aid programme – even one as generous as our own – that would or could have been so effective.

It was no coincidence that this period coincided with the great liberalised economies of India and China opening up to the world.

At a fundamental level, free and open trade allows people to improve their own lives, allowing the individual to access global opportunities. It delivers employment, goods and services, often where they are needed most.

Across the world, trade has created prosperity, where once there was only deprivation.

Of course, the United Kingdom has benefitted vastly from centuries of trade, and its promotion comes with a degree of economic self-interest.

We must recognise, though, that there is also an equally strong social and moral case for the defence of trading freedoms.

And I say ‘social’ because whilst trade has delivered vast benefits to those in developing countries, it has also has a transformative effect on the lives of our own people.

Although it might not always be noticed, the wider benefits of a liberal trade policy have spread to British consumers and households by providing a wider choice of goods at a lower price.

Free trade is not only vital in ensuring that supplies of raw materials and everyday essentials like food and clothing are available in the UK; but it also increases the quality of those products, and helps to drive down prices.

In the decade to 2006, the real import price of clothing fell by 38%. In the same period, the price of consumer electronics, as we all know, fell by 50%, despite all the rapid technological achievements of that period, what went from a $4,000 brick called the mobile phone at that time turns into a super computer in the palm of your hand at a fraction of the price. That is what liberal and open trade can provide.

As a consequence, living standards in this country are now at their highest level in history.

Yet ‘Free Trade’ as a concept is often regarded with suspicion or simple indifference by consumers, who often fail to see how it can make a difference to their lives.

I believe that open, liberal free trade is undeniably a good thing.

It is unfortunate, though, that trading freedoms can no longer be taken for granted.

Last year, the Word Trade Organization estimated that the growth in global trade could be as little as 1.8%, falling below the growth in global GDP. This is the inverse of the normal relationship and it’s unhealthy, history tells us in the long term.

Moreover, research by the OECD that shows that protectionist instincts have grown since the financial crisis of 2008.

In 2010 G7 and G20 countries were operating some 300 non-tariff barriers to trade – by 2015 this had mushroomed to over 1,200.

So clearly, free trade is in need of a champion. The case for commercial freedom must be made at every level.

To consumers we must show that, when a foreign company invests in your area and creates jobs – that is free trade.

When you use a smartphone or a flat-screen TV at a lower price – that is global free trade.

Or when you go to a supermarket and you buy your fruit and meat and vegetables you want all year round, rather than relying on our own seasonal produce – that is global free trade in action.

These benefits often go unrecognised, even at an official level.

Last Spring, I was at the World Economic Forum in Davos, at a meeting of trade minister from the world’s major economies.

It was a full 54 minutes – just shy of an hour – before a single one of the world’s trade ministers said the ‘C-word’. Consumers were never mentioned at that meeting. We have got to also champion the consumer interest and such a state of affairs illustrates perfectly that a wider recognition is needed of the benefits that free trade can bring to ordinary people.

Those who shape international trade policy must no longer see commercial freedoms solely as a means of reaching a narrow macroeconomic advantage, but as a force for social and geopolitical good.

Those countries, like the United Kingdom, who have benefitted the most from free trade, cannot, in good conscience, pull up the drawbridge. There is a moral obligation to pass on the benefits of free trade to our less developed partners, allowing them access to our markets, or our skills and our expertise.

Such a policy would benefit all of humankind.

My Department for International Trade was founded last year to make Britain a global champion of free trade once again.

We are in a unique position to use our economic and diplomatic influence to extend and protect commercial freedoms across the world.

Of course, as a department of state of the UK, our primary purpose is to ensure that global trade bestows its benefits on Britain.

Our vision is of a UK that trades its way to prosperity, stability and security, and our mission is to help businesses export, drive investment, open up markets and champion free trade.

Liberalisation of the global economy is firmly within this country’s interests, and we are ready to take advantage of the historic opportunities that have been presented to this country.

Our departure from the European Union after some 44 years of membership will bring challenges. Yet it will also offer almost limitless possibilities.

For the first time in more than four decades this country will have a fully independent trade policy, to be shaped to best serve the interests of British consumers, British businesses, and the British economy.

The potential of this should not be underestimated. The trading bloc of the European Union has served parts of our economy well, but it is a model that is fundamentally outdated in the age of globalisation.

New technology has reduced the barriers of distance and time, and being tied to other nations simply through geographical proximity is no longer necessary especially in an economy like the UK, which is now 80 % services. The British people have opted not for insularity, but internationalism.

We will soon be in a position to revitalise our existing trade relationships, and to build new connections with those growing economies that will drive prosperity in the 21st century.

Don’t believe me, go and look at the EU’s website. The EU trade page says in the next 10 to 15 years 90% of global growth will be beyond the borders of Europe. That is where we need to be.

To ignore such possibilities would be a great disservice to the British people.

This vision of the future is central to the government’s ambition to build a truly global Britain.

This is about building a country that is a bold, outward-looking champion of free trade.

The UK will lead the defence of the rules-based international system as a newly independent member of the WTO, while forging agreements with partners across the world.

The state of Israel will, of course, be a key partner in that future.

As a longstanding friend of the Israeli people, I was delighted to attend the Tel Aviv in London festival last month.

I was struck by the many similarities between the two cities, not only in their formidable international reputations for technology, innovation and financial services, but in the vibrancy of the culture that we share.

These parallels are indicative of the complimentary nature of the Israeli and UK economies. It is a strong foundation from which to enhance our future relationship.

The UK is already the number one destination in Europe for Israeli investment, with over 300 companies already operating here.

Yet there is more to be done and more to be achieved. One of the things that I am proud of in my department has been the creation of a UK-Israel Trade Working Group, designed to identify and remove barriers to trade between our two countries. This will not only strengthen our bilateral relationship, but provide a strong foundation for further progress upon our exit from the EU, as well as providing greater prosperity, stability and security in Israel itself.

And this is one of the themes that we have across our government because trade is not only done for itself; it provides a prosperity which underpins social cohesion.

That social cohesion helps in turn to underpin political stability and that political stability is a contribution to our wider security.

All of them are parts of a continuum which cannot be disrupted, which is something that both the UK and Israel understand well.

In the extensive travels undertaken by myself and the other departmental ministers in the past 15 months, I have been struck by the sheer level of enthusiasm that exists across the world for Britain’s new role.

Nations are not only lining up to enhance their trading relationship with our country, but also to access our wealth of talent, knowledge and expertise.

Our global brand remains incredibly strong. People want to ‘buy British’ and they want to partner British as well. Globally the commercial prospects for this country have never been brighter and we must embrace them with confidence and optimism.

We are opening a new chapter in our nation’s history, but the story has not yet been written.

I believe that politics is a binary choice. You can either shape the world around you, or you’ll be shaped by the world around you.

The United Kingdom has the ability to shape the world – all we require is the confidence to do it.

My department stands ready to help shape the future of global trade, placing Britain back at its heart.

Free trade may be a centuries-old concept, but it is also the key to projecting this country’s prosperity far into the future.

Sir Winston Churchill once called free trade “a condition of progress”. Once again, the great man’s words have stood the test of time.

It is incumbent upon all of us to defend that progress.

There will be challenges ahead, but we have the ability, the vision and the determination to shape the future as we see fit.

We are not passengers to our own destiny. We can make change happen if we choose to do so and change we will.

Thank you.

Theresa May – 2017 Statement at Race Disparity Audit Launch

Below is the text of the statement made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, at the launch of the race disparity audit on 10 October 2017.

Thank you very much everybody for being here. I’m really pleased to welcome you to Downing Street today. I think this is a very significant day for our country in terms of what we’re publishing today.

I think when it comes to the health of our economy and the performance of our health service, or the results of our education system we’ve got plenty of data to show us where things are working well and where things are not working in the population as a whole. But what we’re publishing today, I think, is data that fills a glaring gap, by analysing how a person’s ethnicity affects their experience in public services and how that affects their lives. And that holds a mirror up to our society and I think establishes a new and permanent resource for our country.

I think this is important and launching this piece of work was one of the first acts that I did as Prime Minister and it is a personal priority to me because I absolutely, passionately believe that how far you go in life, should be about your talents and your hard work and nothing else.

We know that Britain today in the 21st Century is a diverse multi-ethnic democracy. Diversity is a source of strength and pride for us. But when one person works just as hard as another person – and has got the same ambitions and aspirations – but experiences a worse outcome solely the grounds of their ethnicity, then this is a problem that I believe we have to confront.

And that was the approach that I took when I was Home Secretary and I looked at the issue of stop and search and saw the significant disparity in stops and searches – far more young men from black and minority ethnic backgrounds being stopped and searched. But the number of incidents didn’t actually equate to that and justify that. We knew there was an injustice there and we had to act and that’s why we shook the system up and I am pleased to say the number of black people being stopped and searched has fallen by two thirds. I think that’s the difference that we can make when we identify the problem properly and then actually confront injustice and I hope that this audit will empower us to tackle many more of these issues.

I think the data we’re releasing today and the online platform that presents it, should quickly become to be regarded as the central resource in the battle to defeat ethnic injustice. It’s a world first, no country has ever produced a piece of work looking at the lived experience of people of different ethnicities which is as extensive and ambitious as this and I want to give a huge vote of thanks to everybody who’s worked so hard on putting this together and helped us in what we’re doing.

But it is not a one-off event this is a first but it’s not something that’s only going to happen today and the data sets and the online platform that we’re launching are now a permanent resource. I think that’s really important they will be updated and new data will be added and we’re fully committed to this for the long-term. And of course, as you know, as you look at the data much of it has existed for years but it’s been spread across the government system. It’s been difficult to access, perhaps it hasn’t been looked at through this particular prism before, and now it will be easily available and people can look at the data, they can look at the methodology for putting the data together, they can interrogate that data, they can measure our progress and they can focus our minds.

Overall the findings will be uncomfortable but it’s right that we’ve identified them, shone a light on them and we need to confront these issues that we have identified. So we are going to take action, for example in relation to the issue of unemployment for people from particular BAME communities we will be identifying hotspots where we will be putting particular extra work in to help people into the workplace.

The Ministry of Justice is going to take forward with recommendations from the Lammy Review that includes performance indicators in prisons to assess the quality of outcomes for prisoners of all ethnicities; committing to publish all criminal justice databases held on ethnicity by default; and working to ensure that the prison workforce itself is more representative of this country as a whole.

In schooling, the Department for Education is taking forward a review on external exclusions. Again, there is some significant differences shown from this data on exclusions. This will share best practice nationwide and will focus on the experiences of groups who are disproportionately likely to be excluded. And the team in the Cabinet Office, which has been working on this, will be continuing its work in the future.

I know that people around this table – I’ve worked with some of you over the years – have devoted many years working on these issues and we’re keen to hear from you about your thoughts on the audit, your own experiences and the experiences of the people that you’re representing.

I was with a group of young people yesterday at a school in south London and hearing from them, their direct experiences, absolutely tapped into the sort of information that we are seeing in this audit and the impact. It wasn’t just their immediate experience, it was the impact on their aspiration and where they thought their life could go and I think this is really important,

I think what this audit shows is that there isn’t anywhere to hide. And that’s not just for government, it is for society as a whole actually. The issues are now out in the open and we all have a responsibility to work together to tackle them.

So I think the message is very simple; if the disparities can’t be explained, they must be changed. Britain has come a long way, we must recognise that we’ve come a long way, in promoting equality and opportunity. But what the data published today shows is that we still have a way to go if we’re truly going to have a country that does work for everyone.

So thank you very much everybody for coming today and I am looking forward to hearing your views in due course.

Chris Grayling – 2017 Statement on Monarch Airlines

Below is the text of the statement made by Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, in the House of Commons on 9 October 2017.

Mr Speaker, with permission I would like to make a statement about the steps the government has been taking to support those affected by the collapse of Monarch Airlines, in particular the 110,000 passengers this left abroad without a flight back to the UK and the almost 2,000 people who have lost their jobs.

Mr Speaker, this situation is deeply regrettable and all parties considered options to avoid the collapse of the company. Ultimately, however, Monarch’s board took the decision to place it into administration and it ceased trading at around 4am on Monday 2nd October (2017). The engineering arm of the group remains a viable business and continues to trade.

Ahead of the collapse my department had been working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and several departments across Whitehall to prepare contingency plans, and the response has been swift and substantial.

To put this into some context, this is the largest operation of its kind ever undertaken and has meant the CAA has essentially set up one of the UK’s largest airlines in order to conduct this operation.

To give members a sense of the scale:

we have put arrangements in place to bring back 110,000 people to the UK
this requires 700 flights over a 2 week period
a maximum of 35 aircraft in operation at one time
the CAA are working with 27 different airlines, more than 200 CAA staff working on the project with thousands more in partner organisations
there are over 40 airports involved – in the UK, around the Mediterranean and beyond
it has required 267 coaches carrying over 13,000 passengers
so far there have been over 39,000 calls to our customer service centres, all swiftly answered by more than 250 call centre staff
there have been over 1,000,000 unique visitors to a dedicated website – and 7,000,000 page views
furthermore more than a million people have been reached through our Facebook promotion
and there have been 10 government departments and agencies involved, including the FCO in London and our extensive diplomatic and consular network in the affected countries

I have seen first-hand the work being done across government and the CAA to make this operation a success and spoken to some of the passengers who have returned to the UK on government flights. I have been hugely impressed by what I have seen and the response from passengers has been overwhelmingly positive – with many praising the CAA and government themselves for a well-organised and professional response.

Normally, the CAA’s responsibility for bringing passengers back would extend only to customers whose trips are covered by ATOL. However this is the largest airline failure in UK history and there would have been insufficient capacity in the commercial aviation market to enable passengers to get home on other airlines. With tens of thousands of passengers abroad and with no easy means of returning to the UK, I therefore instructed the CAA to ensure all those currently abroad were offered an alternative flight home.

As of last night, around 80,000 passengers have returned to the UK – almost three quarters of the total number who were abroad at the time of the collapse. We have also deployed teams of government officials to overseas airports to provide advice and assistance to passengers.

Mr Speaker, despite robust plans and their success so far, this is a hugely distressing situation for all concerned. One of my top priorities has been to help those passengers abroad get safely back to the UK.


But in addition to supporting passengers, we have also been working across government to ensure the almost 2,000 former Monarch employees receive the support they need.

I am pleased to report that airlines have already been directly appealing to Monarch’s former employees. For instance, Virgin Atlantic are offering a fast track recruitment process for cabin crew and pilots, and easyJet have invited applications for 500 cabin crew vacancies. EasyJet are also calling for direct-entry Captains or First Officers who meet Captain qualifications.

All former Monarch employees will have received information from Jobcentre Plus outlining the support available to them. In total, Jobcentre Plus has pulled together a list of more than 6,300 vacancies across the major UK based airlines – around 3 times the number of people made redundant – which will help former Monarch employees remain in the airline industry.

Both I and the Aviation Minister have been in contact with those members whose constituencies will have been hardest hit by these job loses, and given assurances that we will work with the industry to offer what support we can.


However, I am also aware of the duty this government has to the taxpayer, and while affected passengers have been told they will not have to pay to be flown back to the UK, we have entered into discussions with several third parties with a view to recovering some of the costs of this operation.

The ATOL scheme will of course provide the financial cover for those with ATOL protection. We are currently engaged in constructive discussions with the relevant credit and debit card providers in order that we might recoup from them some of the cost to taxpayers of these repatriation flights. We are also having similar discussions with other travel providers through which passengers may have booked a Monarch holiday and I would like to thank them for their constructive behaviour and approach.

Mr Speaker, the initial response to this unprecedented situation would not have been as successful were it not for the support and cooperation of many players.

The loss of a major British brand, which was close to celebrating its half-century, is undoubtedly a sad moment. However this should not be seen as a reflection on the general health of the UK aviation industry, which continues to thrive.

We have never had the collapse of an airline or holiday company on this scale before. We have responded swiftly and decisively. Right now our efforts are rightly focused on getting employees into new jobs, and passengers home. But then our efforts will turn to working through the reforms necessary to ensure passengers do not find themselves in this position again. We need to look at all the options, not just ATOL, but also whether it is possible for airlines to be able to wind down in an orderly manner and look after their customers themselves without the need for government to step in. This is where we will focus our efforts in the weeks and months ahead.

This has been an unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation, and I am grateful to all parties who have stepped in to support those affected.

Theresa May – 2017 Statement on the UK Leaving the EU

Below is the text of the statement made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, in the House of Commons on 9 October 2017.

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on our plans for leaving the European Union.

Today the fifth round of negotiations begins in Brussels and this government is getting on with the job of delivering the democratic will of the British people.

As I set out in my speech in Florence we want to take a creative and pragmatic approach to securing a new, deep and special partnership with the European Union which spans both a new economic relationship and a new security relationship.

So let me set out what each of these relationships could look like – before turning to how we get there.

Economic partnership

Mr Speaker, I have been clear that when we leave the European Union we will no longer be members of its single market or its customs union.

The British people voted for control of their borders, their laws and their money. And that is what this government is going to deliver.

At the same time we want to find a creative solution to a new economic relationship that can support prosperity for all our peoples.

We do not want to settle for adopting a model enjoyed by other countries.

So we have rejected the idea of something based on European Economic Area membership. For this would mean having to adopt – automatically and in their entirety – new EU rules over which, in future, we will have little influence and no vote.

Neither are we seeking a Canadian-style free trade agreement. For compared with what exists today, this would represent such a restriction on our mutual market access that it would benefit none of our economies.

Instead I am proposing a unique and ambitious economic partnership. It will reflect our unprecedented position of starting with the same rules and regulations. We will maintain our unequivocal commitment to free trade and high standards. And we will need a framework to manage where we continue to align and where we choose to differ.

There will be areas of policy and regulation which are outside the scope of our trade and economic relations where this should be straightforward.

There will be areas which do affect our economic relations where we and our European friends may have different goals; or where we share the same goals but want to achieve them through different means.

And there will be areas where we want to achieve the same goals in the same ways, because it makes sense for our economies.

And because rights and obligations must be held in balance, the decisions we both take will have consequences for the UK’s access to the EU market – and EU access to our market.

But this dynamic, creative and unique economic partnership will enable the UK and the EU to work side by side in bringing shared prosperity to our peoples.

Security relationship

Let me turn to the new security relationship.

As I said when I visited our troops serving on the NATO mission in Estonia last month, the United Kingdom is unconditionally committed to maintaining Europe’s security.

And we will continue to offer aid and assistance to EU member states that are the victims of armed aggression, terrorism and natural or man-made disasters.

So we are proposing a bold new strategic agreement that provides a comprehensive framework for future security, law enforcement and criminal justice co-operation: a treaty between the UK and the EU.

We are also proposing a far reaching partnership on how together we protect Europe from the threats we face in the world today.

So this partnership will be unprecedented in its breadth and depth, taking in cooperation on diplomacy, defence and security, and development.


Let me turn to how we build a bridge from where we are now to the new relationship that we want to see.

When we leave the European Union on 29th March 2019 neither the UK, nor the EU and its Members States, will be in a position to implement smoothly many of the detailed arrangements that will underpin this new relationship we seek.

Businesses will need time to adjust and governments will need to put new systems in place. And businesses want certainty about the position in the interim.

That is why I suggested in my speech at Lancaster House there should be a period of implementation – and why I proposed such a period in my speech in Florence last month.

During this strictly time-limited period, we will have left the EU and its institutions, but we are proposing that for this period access to one another’s markets should continue on current terms and Britain also should continue to take part in existing security measures.

The framework for this period, which can be agreed under Article 50, would be the existing structure of EU rules and regulations.

Now I know some people may have some concerns about this. But there are two reasons why it makes sense.

First, we want our departure from the EU to be as smooth as possible – it wouldn’t make sense to make people and businesses plan for two sets of changes in the relationship between the UK and the EU.

Second, we should concentrate our negotiating time and capital on what really matters – the future long-term relationship we will have with the EU after this temporary period ends.

During the implementation period, people will continue to be able to come and live and work in the UK; but there will be a registration system – an essential preparation for the new immigration system required to re-take control of our borders.

And our intention is that new arrivals would be subject to new rules for EU citizens on long term settlement.

We will also push forward on our future independent trade policy, talking to trading partners across the globe and preparing to introduce those deals once this period is over.

How long the period is should be determined simply by how long it will take to prepare and implement the new systems we need.

As of today, these considerations point to an implementation period of around two years.

And as I said in Florence – because I don’t believe that either the EU or the British people will want us to stay longer in the existing structures than necessary, we could also agree to bring forward aspects of that future framework, such as new dispute resolution mechanisms, more quickly if this can be done smoothly.

At the heart of these arrangements, there should be a clear double lock: guaranteeing a period of implementation giving businesses and people the certainty they will be able to prepare for the change; and guaranteeing this implementation period will be time-limited, giving everyone the certainty this will not go on forever.


Mr Speaker, the purpose of the Florence speech was to move the negotiations forward and that is exactly what has happened.

As Michel Barnier said after the last round, there is a “new dynamic” in the negotiations. And I want to pay tribute to my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union for all he has done to drive through real and tangible progress on a number of vital areas.

On citizens’ rights, as I have said many times this government greatly values the contributions of all EU citizens who have made their lives in our country. We want them to stay.

In Florence, I gave further commitments that the rights of EU citizens in the UK – and UK citizens in the EU – will not diverge over time, committing to incorporate our agreement on citizens’ rights fully into UK law and making sure the UK courts can refer directly to it.

Since Florence there has been more progress including reaching agreement on reciprocal healthcare and pensions, and encouraging further alignment on a range of important social security rights.

So I hope our negotiating teams can now reach full agreement quickly.

On Northern Ireland, we have now begun drafting joint principles on preserving the Common Travel Area and associated rights. And we have both stated explicitly we will not accept any physical infrastructure at the border.

We owe it to the people of Northern Ireland – and indeed to everyone on the island of Ireland – to get this right.

Then there is the question of the EU budget.

As I have said, this can only be resolved as part of the settlement of all the issues that we are working through.

Still I do not want our partners to fear that they will need to pay more or receive less over the remainder of the current budget plan as a result of our decision to leave. The UK will honour commitments we have made during the period of our membership.

And as we move forwards, we will also want to continue working together in ways that promote the long-term economic development of our continent.

This includes continuing to take part in those specific policies and programmes which are greatly to our joint advantage, such as those that promote science, education and culture – and those that promote our mutual security.

And as I set out in my speech at Lancaster House, in doing so, we would want to make a contribution to cover our fair share of the costs involved.

Mr Speaker, I continued discussions on many of these issues when I met with European leaders in Tallinn at the end of last month.

And in the bi-lateral discussions I have had with Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Szydlo, President Tusk and the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, they welcomed the tone set in Florence and the impact this was having on moving the negotiations forwards.


Mr Speaker, preparing for life outside the EU is also about the legislative steps we take.

Our EU Withdrawal Bill will shortly enter Committee Stage, carrying over EU rules and regulations into our domestic law from the moment we leave the EU.

And today we are publishing two White Papers on trade and customs. These pave the way for legislation to allow the UK to operate as an independent trading nation and to create an innovative customs system that will help us achieve the greatest possible tariff and barrier-free trade as we leave the EU.

And while I believe it is profoundly in all our interests for the negotiations to succeed, it is also our responsibility as a government to prepare for every eventuality. So that is exactly what we are doing.

These White Papers also support that work, including setting out steps to minimise disruption for businesses and travellers.


Mr Speaker, a new, deep and special partnership between a sovereign United Kingdom and a strong and successful European Union is our ambition and our offer to our European friends.

Achieving that partnership will require leadership and flexibility, not just from us but from our friends, the 27 nations of the EU.

And as we look forward to the next stage, the ball is in their court. But I am optimistic it will receive a positive response.

Because what we are seeking is not just the best possible deal for us – but I believe that will also be the best possible deal for our European friends too.

So while, of course, progress will not always be smooth; by approaching these negotiations in a constructive way – in a spirit of friendship and co-operation and with our sights firmly set on the future – I believe we can prove the doomsayers wrong.

And I believe we can seize the opportunities of this defining moment in the history of our nation.

Mr Speaker, a lot of the day to day coverage is about process. But this, on the other hand, is vitally important.

I am determined to deliver what the British people voted for and to get it right.

That is my duty as Prime Minister.

It is our duty as a Government.

And it is what we will do.

And I commend this Statement to the House.

Greg Clark – 2017 Speech to Conservative Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, at the Conservative Party conference held in Manchester on 2 October 2017.

The Conservative Party owes its strength over the years to two things. To our principles as the party of freedom in a property-owning democracy and to our ability to ensure stability and prosperity for the whole country.

Today we face a challenge to both. A challenge from the Left to our idea of what Britain is and can be and a broader challenge to respond to the spreading worry among many people, worries that came to the fore in the election, that the system can’t be trusted to give them and their children a fair chance to make it, and who want to know they have an active government who will fight on their side for a stable and prosperous future for them.

First things first. The British people made the decision to leave the European Union and this Government is going to carry out this instruction – Confidently, Seriously and responsibly. We are going to get the negotiations right. Part of my job is to make sure the voice of business is heard. I am a Conservative Business Secretary, and I will do my job.

Sometimes, when I travel around the world meeting overseas investors, I encounter the assumption that the vote for Brexit was part of a global trend to more closed economies. For trading less. For protection. For pessimism. For retreat. I always say that nothing could be further from the truth.

Let me speak for people who voted remain and people who voted for leave, and let me speak for the Government too. We’re for a Britain open to the world. Britain must, and will, always be: open to trade, open to talent, open to business.

We can be pioneers of a new industrial age. To achieve that, strategy begins with understanding the challenge in a serious way. Our economy has been extraordinarily good at creating jobs. We can be proud of the fact that the vast majority of people of working age in this country are in work. We are the jobs capital of the world. But we’re nowhere near being the earnings capital of the world.

We generate less value for our efforts than, say, people in Germany or France or America. We have to work longer hours to get the same rewards.

We have some people who are among the most highly skilled on the planet.

But we have too many without an adequate education or training. They can hold down a job. But the job isn’t productive enough to properly support themselves and their families.

We have some of the most prosperous places in the world. But we have too many places where potential is unfulfilled. So our job is to increase this country’s earning power. For unless we raise our earning power, capitalism won’t work for everyone. And if capitalism doesn’t work for everyone, it doesn’t work.

Here is the mission of our government: Prosperity for all – prosperity everywhere.

So our industrial strategy is about people. You can’t be productive if you don’t have the skills. We’ve raised standards in schools, and expanded apprenticeships. Now Justine Greening and I are reforming technical education.

Introducing more rigorous technical qualifications in areas where we need them- Construction, Design, Engineering, Digital technology, Healthcare, Science. More students are took maths and science A levels this summer than in any year since records began. And in every major city of England we will open an Institute of Technology to incubate the skills we need. We will give every single person in this country the prospect not just of a job – but of a trade. No-one left behind – Nowhere left behind.

And our industrial strategy is also about ideas. We want Britain to be the world’s most innovative economy. Since our last conference we have made the biggest investment in research and development for 40 years. Just one example of what that means: As battery-powered autonomous cars take over, Britain will be the go-to place for new battery technology.

Our industrial strategy commitment to research and development has, in the last 12 months alone helped ensure Britain will be home to; two new models from Nissan, the electric MINI from BMW, a quarter of a billion new investment from Toyota and Ford’s new vehicle research centre.

Today we go further as we announce, as part of our Industrial Strategy, the consortium of businesses and universities across the country who will form the Faraday Battery Institute – advancing Britain’s place in the vanguard of the next generation of this technology.

All this is backed up by the third pillar of our strategy – upgrades to our roads, railways, airports, energy networks, housing and broadband. People and ideas, supported by infrastructure. For the first time in a generation, the British government is leading the way on energy – through taking decisions on new nuclear, rolling out smart meters and leading the way in clean growth.

The world is moving from being powered by polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. It’s as big a change as the move from the age of steam to the age of oil and Britain is showing the way. In the last year we have established ourselves as the world’s leader in offshore wind power. The price has halved and all across the country factories and service centres are opening up to build and export that technology. A dividend of industrial strategy.

To drive earning power we need to champion good work by responsible employers who – pay their employees well, pay their taxes, train their workers, treat small business suppliers fairly, and compete vigorously and not by wielding monopoly power.

The Taylor Review makes us the first country to think seriously about how the gig economy can drive economic success -while safeguarding the rights and conditions of people who work in it. And by upgrading our standards of corporate governance so that they will continue to be the best, and making sure that in takeover battles bidders have to publish their plans and can’t renege on them, we are strengthening our reputation as the place that combines unparalleled opportunities with high standards.

We’ll agree sector deals with business sectors from life sciences to oil and gas; from the creative industries to ceramics. If business sectors can show how they will invest more and improve the earning power of the people who work in their industries, we’ll shake hands on a deal.

The people who know best what is needed to drive forward their local economies are the people who live, work and do business in them.
We will build on the success of our City Deals and Growth Deals – invented by this Government and now being copied around the world – to give local leaders the power to make a difference. As we saw earlier, when asked to choose – who is the best leader to drive forward their local economy, two thirds of the cities from Bristol and the West of England to Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley chose the Conservatives.

Britain can win the fight to be the first home of the new industrial revolution.

Yet to do that we must do something none of us in this hall ever thought we would have to do again. We must mount a battle of ideas on a scale we have not done for many years. Because underpinning everything we do is a belief that Britain is best served by a thriving, market economy, that produces jobs and prosperity for our people, and pays for the public services on which our nation relies.

Our opponents are determined instead to create in Britain a socialist state.

This is not a caricature – it is a description. The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer calls himself a Marxist and he says his biggest influences are Trotsky and Lenin. The Labour Party has given itself over to a programme, an ideology and a leadership that would bring ruin.

Despite the history of failures that litter the landscape they are marching off down the path of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange. It’s our job – each one of us in this hall – to stop them. The cost of their plan they haven’t even determined, but every person in this hall knows it can only be paid for in one of three ways: you tax, you borrow or you expropriate. Each one would be a disaster.

The Labour party is committed to raising taxes, in the words of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, to “the highest level in the peacetime history of the United Kingdom”. It’s an illusion that these taxes would be paid by some distant multinational. I’ll tell you who’s going to pay. Working people already struggling to get by – that’s who’d have to pay the price of Labour.

As any economist will tell you, taxes on companies have to be paid by workers, by consumers and by pensioners – through lower wages, higher prices and less valuable investments meaning lower pensions.

This is not a choice of prosperity for the many or the few – it’s prosperity for no-one. And let me address a word to those Labour MPs who are choosing to stay silent even though they know their party is now led by people with an extreme and ruinous ideology. If, by your silence, you aid and abet the electoral fortunes of that leadership you won’t be forgiven, and you won’t deserve to be forgiven.

While they stay silent it is this Party that will make the case for the values and policies that are essential for our prosperity. We’re going to make the case for an enterprise economy. We’re going to make the case for businesses that compete and succeed and provide a living for the people of this country. We’re going to make the case for well-paid jobs. The case for decent public services.

The case for a welfare state paid for not by what we borrow but by what we earn. We’re going to be the voice for freedom to trade, for enterprise and creativity, and, for prosperity for all. We’re going to take the battle to the socialists – and we’re going to win.

Here is the Conservative way to govern: Living within our means; creating good jobs; paying people well; investing for the future; Being a beacon of free trade and internationalism. That is what our modern industrial strategy is about. Prosperity for all will be our reply to the high tax, anti-enterprise, job-destroying, socialist ideology that in the last two years has taken over the opposition. This need to take the arguments to the socialists and win, this need to be a voice for enterprise and liberty – is a duty that we happily take on our shoulders. For we know that our country, and this party, have not faced a more overwhelming test of our seriousness of purpose in over 70 years. We will rise to the challenge, we will do our duty, we will secure for the next generation, a better Britain.

Jeremy Hunt – 2017 Speech to Conservative Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, at the Conservative Party conference held in Manchester on 2 October 2017.

We have a great team at the Department of Health so let me start by thanking them: the wise Philip Dunne, the savvy Steve Brine, the smart James O’Shaughnessy, the street-smart Jackie Doyle-Price and our perfect PPS’s Jo Churchill and James Cartlidge.

Sometimes something happens that reminds you how lucky we are to have an NHS.

That happened right here in Manchester in May.

When that bomb went off at the Arena, we saw paramedics running into danger, doctors racing to work in the middle of the night, nurses putting their arms round families who couldn’t even recognise the disfigured bodies of their loved ones.

One doctor was actually on the scene picking up his own daughter when the bomb went off. Thankfully he found her – but instead of taking her home he quietly dropped her off with friends and went straight to work at his hospital – without telling colleagues a word about where he’d been.

It was the same heroism after the London attacks too. So let’s start by thanking all those superb NHS staff for being there when our country needed them.

Of course they’re there for us not just in national emergencies but in personal ones too.

When you’re losing a loved one, when you’re sick unexpectedly, when you’re knocked sideways by a mental health crisis – the NHS is there. A National Health Service and a national symbol of British professionalism and British compassion.

But it only exists because of its people. So today I want to recognise that supporting NHS staff is one of our most important priorities.

We need more doctors. So last year I said we’d increase the number of doctors we train by a quarter, one of the biggest ever increases.

We also need more nurses. So today I can tell you we’ll increase the number of nurses we train by 25% – that’s a permanent increase of more than 5,000 nurse training places every single year. And we’ll do that not just by increasing traditional university places, but also by tripling the number of Nursing Associates so people already in the NHS can become a registered nurse after a four year apprenticeship without having to do a traditional full time university course. Derby, Wolverhampton and Coventry Universities have already offered to run apprenticeship nursing courses on hospital and community sites and others will follow, always making sure we maintain the high standards required by the nursing regulator. We’ll also launch a new initiative to encourage nurses who have left the profession to come back.

Our NHS is nothing without its nurses: we need your skills, we need your compassion and with today’s announcement we are backing the biggest expansion of nurse training in the history of the NHS.

For nurses, as for all of us, pay and conditions matter. I’ve already said we’ll decide next year’s pay awards after listening to the independent pay review bodies. But there are other things we can do today.

Nurses look after us – but they also have their own families to look after: kids at school, a mum or dad with dementia, a partner coping with cancer.

If we’re to get the best out of them we need to be much better at supporting them with their own caring responsibilities.

They need to be able to work flexibly, do extra hours at short notice, get paid more quickly when they do and make their own choices on pension contributions. So today I’m also announcing that new flexible working arrangements will be offered to all NHS employees during this parliament. And we’ll start next year with 12 trusts piloting a new app-based flexible working offer to their staff.

And like many people, NHS staff can also struggle to find homes near work they can actually afford. So from now on when NHS land is sold, first refusal on any affordable housing built will be given to NHS employees benefitting up to 3,000 families.

And there’s one more group who are understandably a bit worried at the moment and that’s the 150,000 EU workers in the health and care system. Let me say to them this: you do a fantastic job, we want you to stay and we’re confident you will be able to stay with the same rights you have now – so you can continue being a highly valued part of our NHS and social care family.

I became Health Secretary five years ago. It’s a long time ago – but I’ll never forget my very first week.

Someone gave me the original Francis report into Mid Staffs to take home to read. I was gobsmacked. How could these terrible things really happen in our NHS?

The Chief Executive of the NHS told me I’d better get used to the fact in hospitals all over the world 10% of patients are harmed. Another senior doctor told me there were pockets of Mid Staffs-like problems everywhere. And academics told me that 3.6% of all hospital deaths were probably avoidable – that’s 150 deaths every single week – causing immense heartache to families as we heard so powerfully from Deb just now.

People like Deb – and what a privilege to listen to her this morning – made a choice.

Instead of drawing a line under their personal tragedies and moving on they chose to dedicate their lives to campaigning, reliving their sadness over and over again, just to make sure other families wouldn’t have to go through what they did.

They also made my mind up for me: my single ambition as Health Secretary would be to transform our NHS into the safest healthcare system in the world where this kind of thing never happened.

But where on earth do you start?

The first thing is to be honest about where the problems are. My kids are 3, 5 and 7 and as a Dad I know exactly how good all the local schools are – thanks to Ofsted. We had nothing like that in health – so against a lot of opposition in 2013 we became the first country in the world to introduce the Ofsted system to healthcare, giving independent ratings to every hospital, care home and GP surgery.

The results were, to say the least, a big surprise. Look at this.
14 hospitals got an ‘outstanding.’ We assumed it would be the famous teaching hospitals, but in fact it was often trusts no one had really heard of outside their area. Like Western Sussex, under the inspiring leadership of Marianne Griffiths, which has the best learning culture I have seen anywhere in the NHS. Or in mental health Northumbria Tyne and Wear which I visited on Friday and is blazing a trail on the safety of mental health patients.

Then we asked ourselves a difficult question. Is quality care just something you have to buy? Of course money matters – you need enough nurses on the wards and that costs money. But it turned out to be a more complex relationship.

All Trusts are paid the same NHS tariff. But on average the ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ trusts were in surplus and the ‘requires improvement’ and ‘inadequate’ ones were in deficit. Why’s that? Because poor care is about the most expensive care you can give. If someone has a fall and stays in hospital an extra week, it’s not just terrible for them it costs us more too.

But our biggest worry was what would happen to the trusts we put into special measures. Would they get trapped in a vicious circle of decline? 35 trusts went into special measures – nearly one in five of all NHS trusts – and so far 20 have come out. What happened?

Take Wexham Park Hospital in Slough. When they went into special measures, the CQC said their care was unsafe, 6 of their 8 clinical areas needed improving and if you asked staff the majority said they would not recommend their own care to a friend or member of their family. Think about that: the staff themselves said their own hospital’s care was not to be trusted.

Two years later under the extraordinary leadership of Sir Andrew Morris and his Frimley team things were transformed: all 8 clinical areas were good or outstanding, more than two thirds of staff started recommending their own care and the Trust became one of only 8 in the country to go straight from special measures to being rated ‘Good.’

And we learned perhaps the most important thing I have learned as Health Secretary. The staff in every Trust going into special measures were exactly the same as the staff coming out. In other words it wasn’t about the staff, it was all about the leadership.

We also learned that you can’t impose quality or safety from above – it has to be part of a culture that comes from the bottom up. And that starts with openness and transparency.

Let me show you that works.

After Mid Staffs we were worried about staffing levels on wards. But rather than a top-down edict telling Trusts to recruit more staff, we did something simpler. We just asked every trust to publish every month the number of nurses employed in each of their wards. What was the impact?

This is the total number of adult nurses employed in the NHS. And you can see in the first two years from 2010 they went down by just under 5,000. Then we introduced ward by ward transparency and what happened? The blue line is the number of nurses Trusts planned to recruit. The green line is what they actually recruited. In other words once we started being transparent about nurse numbers the NHS ended up with 18,000 more nurses than it planned.

And the public noticed – inpatient satisfaction over this period rose to record highs.

We also introduced transparency in areas like mental health, our major priority under Theresa May’s leadership. We are leading probably the biggest expansion of mental health in Europe right now. But progress across the country has been patchy – so we are using transparency to make sure that wherever you live mental health conditions are always treated as seriously as physical health conditions.

So by shining a light on problems, transparency saves lives. But it also saves money.

Every time someone gets an infection during a hip operation it can cost £100,000 to put right. So under the leadership of Professor Tim Briggs we started collecting data on infection rates across the country. What did Tim find? He found that our best hospitals infect one in 500 patients. But our least good ones it is as many as one in 25 patients.

Putting that right is now saving hundreds of millions of pounds as well as reducing untold human misery. So never let it be said you can’t afford safe care – it’s unsafe care that breaks the bank.

Now what’s been the overall impact of this focus on safety and quality? We all know the pressure the NHS is under. But despite that the proportion of patients being harmed has fallen by 8% and 200 fewer patients harmed every single day.

Staff are happier than ever with the quality of their care and the proportion of the public who agree their NHS care is good is up 13%.

This July an independent American think tank, the Commonwealth Fund, said the NHS was the best – and safest – healthcare system in the world. That’s better than America, better than France, better than Germany and most importantly ahead of the Ashes better than Australia.

But – and there is a ‘but’ – we still have those 150 avoidable deaths every week.

Twice a week somewhere in the NHS we leave a foreign object in someone’s body.

Three times a week we operate on the wrong part of someone’s body.

Four times a week a claim is made for a baby born brain damaged.

We may be the safest in the world – but what that really means is that healthcare everywhere needs to change.

In America Johns Hopkins University says medical error causes 250,000 deaths a year – the third biggest killer after cancer and heart disease. Conference I want the NHS to blaze a trail across the world in sorting that out.

So we have big campaigns right now to tackle e-Coli infections, reduce maternity harm, make sure we learn from every avoidable death and most of all keep our patients safe over winter.

But we need to do something else too: and that’s get much better at supporting doctors and nurses when they make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes – but only doctors and nurses have been brave enough to choose a career where the price of those mistakes can sometimes be a tragedy.

And when that happens no one is more devastated, no one keener to learn and improve than those same frontline staff.

But we often make that impossible. They worry about litigation, the GMC, the NMC, the CQC, even being fired by their trust. Unless we support staff to learn from mistakes we just condemn ourselves to repeat them – and that means dismantling the NHS blame culture and replacing it with a learning culture. The world’s largest healthcare organisation must become the world’s largest learning organisation – and it’s my job and my mission to make that happen.

Now next year the NHS has an important birthday. Like Prince Charles and Lulu it will turn 70.

Here are the words of the Health Minister who announced its formation back in 1944.

Nye Bevan deserves credit for founding the NHS in 1948. But that wasn’t him or indeed any Labour minister.

That was the Conservative Health Minister in 1944, Sir Henry Willink, whose white paper announced the setting up of the NHS.

He did it with cross-party support. And for me that’s what the NHS should always be: not a political football, not a weapon to win votes but there for all of us with support from all of us.

So conference when Labour question our commitment to the NHS, as they did in Brighton, just tell them that no party has a monopoly on compassion.

It’s not a Labour Health Service or a Conservative Health Service but a National Health Service that we built and are building together – as I’ve said many times.

And the next time they question our record, tell them we’ve given our NHS more doctors, more nurses and more funding than ever before in its history.

Tell them when they left office the NHS wasn’t even rated the best in Europe, let alone best in the world as it has been twice on our watch.

And most of all tell them that if they’re really worried about the NHS being destroyed, then there’s one thing they can do: ditch Corbyn and McDonnell’s disastrous economic policies which would bankrupt our economy and bring our NHS to its knees.

Because the economic facts of life are not suspended for the NHS: world-class public services need a world-class economy and to ignore that is not to support our doctors and nurses, it’s to betray them.

However unlike Labour we don’t make the mistake of saying the challenges facing the NHS are only about money.

If they were, we wouldn’t have had Mid Staffs, Morecambe Bay and all those other tragedies that happened during bumper increases in funding.

As Conservatives we know that quality of care matters as much as quantity of money.

So when we battle to improve the safety and quality of care we are making the NHS stronger not weaker.

And we’re reinforcing those founding values of the NHS we just heard, namely that every single older person, every single family, every single child in our country matters – and we want all of them to be treated with the same standards of care and compassion that we’d want for our own mum or dad or son or daughter.

That, conference, is why we’re backing our NHS to become the safest, highest quality healthcare system in the world and we will deliver the safest, highest quality healthcare system in the world. Thank you.

Liam Fox – 2017 Speech at Conservative Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade, at the Conservative Party conference held in Manchester on 3 October 2017.

OK. It’s time for some optimism.

It doesn’t seem like a year since we last met together in Birmingham. When we did so, my Department had been in existence for little over two months.

We had the challenge, but more importantly the wonderful opportunity, to build a new department designed for the trade challenges of the 21st century.
It has been a huge honour to be at the centre of such a historic project and to work alongside some of the most talented and energetic people in our country.

In a short time, we have achieved so much.

We have attracted the brightest and best talent from across Whitehall, the private sector and abroad in order to make sure that we have the skills we need to help British business succeed.

We now have over 3400 DIT personnel including those in 108 posts around the globe, literally working around the clock in our national interest.

But none of this could have been achieved without our parliamentary colleagues: our departmental Whips, Heather Wheeler and Liz Sugg and my outstanding PPS Tom Pursglove; and PPS to our Ministers, Mike Wood.

I’m delighted to welcome Rona Fairhead who joined us as our Minister in the Lords last week, and who will be leading our new export strategy. She follows in the footsteps of Mark Price who is returning to the private sector. Mark, we all owe you a huge debt of gratitude for the tireless work you did for our country.

And I’m thrilled that following the general election I was fortunate enough to retain Greg Hands and Mark Garnier – two of the finest Ministers in Whitehall.

And let’s not forget the invaluable dedication of our tremendous civil servants both here at home, and those in posts abroad, who work tirelessly on behalf of our country and who deserve more thanks than they sometimes get.

We are blessed in having a unity of purpose that I have never experienced in any other department in Whitehall.

Our vision is of a UK that trades its way to prosperity, stability and security.
We know that to realise this vision we must build a department that champions free trade, helps businesses export, drives investment and opens up markets so that more British businesses can take up the opportunities that exist in the global economy.

And we need to prepare for life after Brexit, to make the technical changes and global arrangements that will enable us to take full advantage of having an independent trade policy for the first time in over 40 years.

And we have done so against an economic backdrop where the fundamentals of the British economy have been sound and resilient.

Because the naysayers got it wrong – and doesn’t it annoy you when people preface any piece of good news with the phrase “despite Brexit”. Well, doesn’t it?

So let’s just have a reality check.

We have the highest number of people in employment ever, “despite Brexit”.

Last year we had the highest inward investment to the UK ever, creating over 75,000 new jobs and safeguarding over 32,000 others, “despite Brexit”.

We have new cars being built in Sunderland and Cowley, amongst the highest economic growth rates in the developed world, an 11% rise in exports and the best order books for British manufacturers in 22 years.

No, not despite Brexit but because of the sound economic management of a Conservative government under the leadership of our Prime Minister, Theresa May and Chancellor, Phillip Hammond.

And last week we saw the full horrors of what a Labour alternative might look like. Economic incompetence, financial incontinence and self-congratulatory nonsense.

A leadership that is conning Britain’s young people, planning to borrow and spend on an unprecedented scale leaving the debts and the inevitable taxes to the next generation. It is a confidence trick. Labour claim to be the party who support young people when, in reality, they are the party who will sell out young people.

We, on the other hand are getting on with the business of governing.

We will leave the European Union, and with it, the Single Market and the Customs Union, at the end of March 2019. We are now making the preparations for that to happen.

First, at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, we have to table new trading schedules – which are the legal basis of our international trading obligations.

We have increased our staff numbers and worked hard with our international partners to ensure that this process is as technical and straightforward as possible.

Second, we have to translate into UK law, the trade agreements that the EU has, with other countries, and to which we are a party.

There are around 40 such EU free trade agreements and we have been working to ensure that we continue our trading advantages with important markets, such as Switzerland and South Korea, avoiding any disruption at the point we leave the EU.

Beyond that, we will need to look to new agreements to ensure that we can take full advantage of the opportunities that will arise in the future.

Of course, as we look globally, we must continue to recognise the hugely important market for the UK that the EU provides. That is why the Prime Minister and David Davis have consistently said that we want to see a full and comprehensive agreement with the EU, retaining an open and free trading area across the European continent.

That is in the interests of both the UK and our European partners who we want to see prosperous and strong, playing a full part in our mutual economic well-being and security.

But the EU itself estimates that over 90% of global growth in the next 10 to 15 years will occur outside Europe so we must be ready to meet that challenge.

These are the markets where Britain must trade, invest and partner, ensuring that we deliver and bring back to Britain the fruits of growth in some of the world’s most dynamic places.

From the vibrant energy of the Asian economies to the awakening giant of Latin America to the potential of the African continent, new opportunities are arising, new ventures beckoning and new possibilities blossoming.

We have already begun discussions with the United States, Australia and New Zealand about future relationships.

We have established a trade policy group to lead our trade negotiations of the future and recruited the terrific Crawford Falconer from New Zealand to head up a new trade profession, creating new skills and career opportunities in trade.

We have established 12 working groups with 17 countries from India to Brazil and from the Gulf to Australia.

As Ministers we have travelled to over 100 global markets, promoting British exports of goods and services, encouraging inward investment to the United Kingdom and seeking overseas investment opportunities so that British companies develop a genuinely global footprint.

Am I optimistic about the future? Absolutely.

When people ask if I’m a glass half full or half empty man – I just tell them that I’m Scottish and the glass isn’t big enough.

And we continue to innovate to help UK businesses, large and small. We have a dedicated network of Trade Envoys, and will shortly have a fully established complement of Trade Commissioners to lead nine new regions across the world, bringing together expertise in export promotion, investment and policy at our posts abroad.

We will bring an end to micromanagement from Whitehall and give those with the intuition and understanding of international markets the freedom they need to do the job that this country needs them to do.

And our job is to ensure that everything we do helps British business.
We have created a cutting edge digital trading site – called – showcasing Britain to the world and showing real time export opportunities.

And we are now providing political risk insurance so that even the most difficult markets can be accessed with confidence and for SMEs we will make export finance available through their own banks for the first time, making help available quickly and efficiently.

But we must not assume that everyone takes the same positive view of global free trade that we do. There are many who are worried about the disruptive effects of the globalised economy and the effect it may have on their own jobs and prosperity. If we are to get wide acceptance of a competitive, free market, global economy then we must ensure that it works for everyone. And we must provide mitigation where disruption is caused to individuals or communities.

In particular, we have to ensure that our training and reskilling is sufficient to help people back into the workplace as quickly and smoothly as possible.

We may think that the benefits of free trade are self-evident but we need to sell our vision and mission to a public that is often either unaware or sceptical about the benefits.

We need to say that when the UK sells its goods and services to other countries it helps the UK economy grow and become stronger.

We need to say that improving trade and selling more into markets overseas support jobs at home.

And we need to point out that the choice and competition that comes from trade means a greater variety of goods in the shops, helping keep prices down and making incomes go further.

Getting cut-price produce from Lidl and Aldi is free trade in action.

Getting bigger widescreen TVs at lower prices from Currys is free trade in action.

Getting lower cost school clothing or having a full range of fruit and vegetables all year round is free-trade in action.

On the other hand, putting up barriers to trade – or protectionism – leads to higher prices and less choice. Ultimately, it leads to a less competitive economy that delivers lower living standards.

Let’s make our arguments mean something to all our people.

And more, let’s go beyond the economic arguments and make the moral case too.

Over the last generation, more than 1 billion people have been taken out of abject poverty thanks to the success of global trading. It is the greatest reduction in poverty in human history and we are working hand in hand with our development policy so that ultimately people can trade their way out of poverty rather than simply depending on aid.

Of course no one is likely to disagree with the sentiment. Yet the most developed countries have been placing more and more obstacles in the way of free trade in recent years. According to the OECD, at the end of 2010 the G7 and G20 countries were operating around 300 non-tariff barriers to trade. By the end of 2015 this had increased to over 1200.

Those who have benefited most from free-trade in the past cannot pull up the drawbridges behind them. It is completely unacceptable, which is why, as we leave the European Union, and take up our independent seat at the World Trade Organization, we will be unequivocal champions of free-trade for the benefit of all.

But we need to see free trade in a wider context still. We live in a world that is more interconnected and more interdependent than at any time in our history.

Free trade helps to ensure that there is an ever wider sharing of prosperity.

That prosperity, which encourages and develops social cohesion, underpins political stability. And that political stability, in turn, is part of the framework for our global security.

That is why we must see them all as part of a continuum and why it is so essential that our trade policy, our development policy and our foreign policy work hand in hand, which is why Boris, Priti and I are working so closely together.

So let’s be upbeat, Let’s be positive. Let’s be optimistic.

From Jakarta to Panama to Tokyo to Johannesburg, I have heard nothing but a willingness to do business with Britain, a respect for the quality of our goods and services and a desire to develop partnerships with British business.

We need to take as positive a view of Britain as they do.

We need to stop the negative, undermining, self-defeating pessimism that is too prevalent in certain quarters and be bold, be brave and rise to the global challenges, together.

We are not passengers in our own destiny. We can make change happen if we want to.

And it is this great party leading our great country that will make that change and lead us to a great future.

Thank you.

David Davis – 2017 Speech at Conservative Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by David Davis, the Secretary of State for Leaving the European Union, at the Conservative Party conference held in Manchester on 3 October 2017.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to be here in this great City, a city forever associated with free trade.

The historic buildings we see all around us, they were all built on the back of trade.

Today, I want to talk about how we can draw inspiration from that past, to carve out a new place for ourselves in the world, to rise to the new set of challenges that face us as new technologies threaten to change our world faster than ever.

When we met last year in the shadow of the Referendum emotions were still raw.

A year later, there is a new mood.

People want to look to the future.

They are fed up that people in Westminster seem to be stuck in an endless debate while the rest of the world wants to get a move on.

Over a year later I still get people coming up to me every day saying: ‘best of luck’ or ‘get a good deal for us Mr Davis’, and even, ‘Surely it can’t be that difficult?’

And that’s just the Cabinet.

Joking aside, every time I walk down the street, get on a train or walk through an airport….

People – not leave voters, or remain voters any more – just ordinary decent people, enthusiastically come up to me and wish me well on our shared project.

They know it’s not going to be easy or straightforward.

But the reasons that so many men and women voted to leave a year and a half ago are the same reasons that drive me every day right now:

We have been given a one-off time-limited extraordinary opportunity.

An opportunity to make sure that all the decisions about the future of this country are taken by our parliament, our courts, our institutions.

Decisions about how to spend our taxes – made here in Britain.

Decisions about who comes into the country – made here in Britain.

All our laws – made here in Britain.

We need to get Britain standing on its own two feet – facing outwards to the world.

And it’s that last point, looking forward to Britain’s Global role, which I want to talk to you about now.

One of the most powerful arguments I’ve heard for being outside the European Union was simple.

And it goes like this:

‘What kind of internationalism is it which says that this country must give priority to a Frenchman over an Indian, a German over an Australian, an Italian over a Malaysian.’

It couldn’t have been further from a Conservative Conference.

Having been said by Barbara Castle in 1975.

But what she meant, rings true today.

We are a global nation. We export more goods and services than Russia, Brazil and Indonesia combined

We have one of the greatest armed forces on the planet…

Who show their worth to the world in the Indian Ocean, in Iraq and the Baltics.

We train the best diplomats and put them to the test by sending them to work for the Foreign Secretary.

Now that we are leaving the European Union.

It allows us to be more international, not less.

It requires us to face the world, not looking away or glancing back, but with confidence and determination about the future we will build.

And ladies and gentlemen there is only one party which can deliver that and it is our Conservative Party.

Now, I would be happy to work with the Labour Party in the national interest, putting aside our differences for the good of the country.

But they have been playing a different game.

They’ve now published 11 separate Brexit plans and they are to paraphrase  Tolstoy, each unhappy in its own unique way.

For the customs union…then against it.

For the single market…then against it.

For freedom of movement…then against it.

Where we have introduced a Repeal Bill to take control of our laws and provide legal certainty…

They opposed it and offered no alternative.

Where we set out our negotiating positions and got the process started…

They opposed it and offered no alternative.

Where we have set out a plan for life outside the EU…with free trade and a strong economy…

They opposed it and offered no alternative.

They claim they respect the outcome of the Referendum…but oppose every step required to deliver it.

This is the most complex negotiation you could imagine.

Where one oversight, one error could cost the taxpayer billions of pounds…

And just last week I heard Keir Starmer say, ‘We mustn’t get bogged down in discussions about technicalities’

Well I’m afraid ignoring the details of Brexit just won’t cut it.

It’s like they’ve got a new slogan: ‘Labour…government without the hard bits’.

Well we are different in this party

We respect the people’s decision

And we will deliver the people’s decision

And as we do it, we will have to be clear eyed about what we want to achieve.

Because the future of our country is much more than just Brexit.

And it is something to be excited about whether you voted leave or remain.

As Liam has just told you the European Commission itself says that 90 per cent of the future global growth will come from outside Europe.

Having an independent trade policy will allow us to embrace those opportunities to the full.

And it gives us an opportunity to lead a race to the top.

To push up global standards.

To protect rights for workers.

To improve productivity and increase wages.

And lead the world as the champion of free trade.

Campaigning for the poverty-busting, affluence-spreading, wealth-creating impact that it can have.

Last week I was in Brussels.

Representing Britain in the fourth round of negotiations

We are making real steps forwards getting results on issues which affect people’s daily lives.

On the rights of British citizens in the Europe and European citizens here.

We will allow all 4 million of them to live their lives as they do now.

I am certain we can secure a deal on this soon.

On Northern Ireland and Ireland both the UK and the European Union are fully committed to protecting the peace process and ensuring that there is no return to the problems of the past.

And on the issue of the money

Yes, as the Prime Minister has promised, we will honour our commitments.

Because ours is a country that which plays by the rules and obeys the law.

But we will do our duty for the British taxpayer, and challenge these claims line by line.

We must never lose sight of the bigger picture, and the prize on offer at the end of the process.

And it is only in this context, that we can finally settle this issue.

Closer to home, we are getting Britain ready for Brexit step-by-step.

The first step is the Repeal Bill.

A critical piece of legislation, which ends the supremacy of EU law.

It is essential to a smooth and orderly exit.

And it helps provide the clarity which citizens and businesses have been clamouring for.

Now where MPs set out to improve this legislation, we will welcome their contribution…

But be in no doubt: this Bill is essential and we will not allow it to be wrecked.

On the negotiating front, we are aiming for a good deal.

And that is what we expect to achieve.

However, if the outcome of the negotiation falls short of the deal that Britain needs we will be ready for the alternative.

That is what a responsible Government does. Anything else would be a dereliction of duty.

So there is a determined exercise underway in Whitehall devoted to contingency arrangements so that we are ready for any outcome.

Not because it is what we seek, but because it needs to be done.

And while much of our task lies ahead, when I look at what we’ve achieved so far it should give us cause for optimism.

That we will strike that deal, and create that shared future.

Because Brexit is not a rejection of Europe, or indeed the values and ideals that are shared across our continent.

It is a decision by the British people to leave the political project.

A project which may be right for the other nations who remain there by the consent of their people.

But one that is no longer right for us.

They approach it through the prism of their own history – one that, in the past, was all too often determined by dictatorship and domination, invasion and occupation.

For them Europe symbolises democracy, liberty, modernity, the rule of law.

Our own island story follows a different path.

We had been the leading liberal democracy for over a century before we joined the common market.

And when we decided to leave the European Union we voted, not against the political project itself, but against Britain’s involvement in it.

Europe’s history will continue, and so will ours, and we will remain good friends and allies.

And for those who claim that we are not good Europeans.

Well, did you know that we spend one and half times as much on defence as the European average? That is how we stationed troops on Europe’s border in Estonia and in Poland.

I call that being a good European.

We spend over twice the European average helping the poorest people on the planet.

Including in Africa where for many, British aid acts as a ladder for people to climb out of the hands of people smugglers.

I call that being a good European.

And we are the first to help our neighbours in the fight against terror…as both our Belgian and our French colleagues found last year.

I call that being a good European.

This is more than warm words.

None of it comes for free.

If we spent only the European average on defence, on international development, on intelligence, we would spend £22 billion less a year.

And that isn’t going away. Because we choose to be good global citizens.

That’s what we mean when we say we are leaving the EU, but not leaving Europe or our shared values.

So this is our plan, and I’m incredibly lucky to have been given the team to deliver it.

The intelligence, dedication and sheer hard work of Robin Walker, Steve Baker and our Minister in the Lords Joyce Anelay.

Our excellent PPSs, Gareth Johnson and Jeremy Quinn.

And the support of our hard-working public-spirited and patriotic civil servants in Whitehall.

And on a personal point can I put on record my thanks for my two former Ministers David Jones and George Bridges.

I’d like you to join me in thanking them all.

So together, as a team, we will work to deliver the national interest.

Now if there’s one thing I don’t need to do today, it’s to remind you to believe in our country.

But if I have one message for you, it is to keep your eyes on the prize.

You will have read in the newspapers lurid accounts of the negotiations with the predictions of break down and crisis.

Offensive, indeed insulting, briefing to the newspapers, which I take as a compliment.

Of course sometimes the exchanges are tough, but that is to be expected.

The job the Prime Minister has entrusted to me is to keep a calm eye on our goal and not be diverted.

Because the prizes for success are enormous. As are the consequences of failure.

I didn’t campaign so hard in the referendum for the pleasure of negotiating with the European Commission

I did it because the future of this country is great.

And this Government is facing up to it.

Success will not be automatic, we will have to work hard for it.

We will encourage the things that we Conservatives believe in:

Hard work, Enterprise, risk-taking

Innovation, competition, self-reliance.

When we leave the EU, our successes, and yes, our failures, will be ours and ours alone.

But we are the country of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen, of Alexander Fleming and James Dyson. A super power in science, with the fairest legal system in the world.

Britain is where you come if you want to study artificial intelligence or life sciences.

And being who we are and drawing on our strengths, we can be confident that our successes will dwarf our failures.

So let us turn to face the future.

Delivering on the referendum.

Setting out a new relationship with Europe.

Pushing forward, to grasp the opportunities that lie ahead.

Looking forward, to the future we forge together.

Putting our country on the path to greatness once again.

Priti Patel – 2017 Speech at Conservative Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for International Development, at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on 3 October 2017.

Conference, good afternoon.

Britain has always been a bold and confident nation.

We are unafraid to stand up for what we believe in.

In our history, we’ve helped to end the slave trade, defeat dictators, and champion democracy around the world.

And today, we are leading the fight to end poverty, eradicate disease and help refugees survive brutal conflicts.

Influence is about knowing what you believe in.

Having the confidence to project British values internationally.

Looking outwards not inwards and utilising our unique history and our position as a force for good.

Using British values to shape a better world and create hope and optimism for the future.

When people across the globe see UK aid supplies arriving in their village or refugee camp – proudly marked with the Union flag – they know that Britain is on their side.

Our heroic Armed Forces forces and aid experts are serving around the world, from Nigeria, to Afghanistan, to South Sudan and the hurricane relief efforts across the Caribbean.

They are providing a badge of hope to millions, shaping a better and safer world.

Each and every one of them deserves our thanks.

We all know that money spent by Ministers and civil servants does not belong to them.

It belongs to you – the very taxpayers who have worked hard for it.

As Margaret Thatcher once said: “Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth.”

The public are right to be angry when they hear stories about wasted aid.

They naturally think that their Government is throwing away their hard-earned cash.

That is why under my leadership, my priority is to make sure that aid delivers value for money.

My Ministers have scrutinised every aspect of DFID’s spending

I have removed programmes which did not stand up to scrutiny.

Where partnerships weren’t working, I have ended them.

Where legitimate concerns have been raised over poor spending, I have taken action.

And where other Government Departments need to improve their aid spending, I am challenging them to raise their game and be accountable to UK taxpayers.

I am delivering close to £500 million pounds of savings.

And I have been ruthless in closing programmes that did not meet the standards I have set.

I am expanding the use of Payment by Results.

That means performance based funding.

If they don’t deliver, we won’t pay.

I am taking back control of our spending and decision-making.

Making sure we use British values to bring hope and optimism to millions across the world.

I would like to thank the Ministers who are supporting this improvement: Michael Bates, Rory Stewart and Alistair Burt.

I also want to pay tribute to James Wharton, my former Africa Minister, who until the General Election, helped to drive essential change across DFID.

He was an outstanding Minister, and I know that he’ll be back in frontline politics again.

When it comes to getting value for money, the job is not yet done.

Today, I am announcing the conclusion of a comprehensive review of DFID’s relationships with suppliers.

I am setting out tough reforms that will encourage the private sector to work with DFID and end the appalling practice of fat cats profiteering from the aid budget.

I am introducing a tough Code of Conduct, with legally enforceable sanctions for non-compliance, to root out unethical behaviour.

I‘m taking the toughest approach in Whitehall to crack down on contract costs.

I‘m cutting red tape and simplifying the bidding process to help small British firms win with DFID and create jobs up and down the UK.

On my watch I will end the crony-market where a handful of suppliers, would win contract after contract, which blocked innovation and competition.

I will always put the interests of taxpayers and the world’s poor ahead of consultants and middle-men.

I am leading global efforts to reform the way the whole world does development and aid.

Two weeks ago I announced a new regime of performance-related funding for the United Nations and its agencies.

From next year 30% of our funding will be conditional on improved results and reform.

But that’s not all.

For years the United Nations has ignored the shocking scandal of sexual abuse and the exploitation of children.

This must end.

I have told them that all future funding is subject to them implementing the highest standards of child protection; investigating all allegations; and securing prosecutions of those responsible for these crimes.

If they don’t make the grade, believe me, they won’t get the aid.

I will continue to challenge the aid system to ensure that the international rules remain relevant to our changing world.

As Hurricane Irma graphically demonstrated, they need to be flexible, so aid gets to the right place at the right time.

That equally applies to our British citizens in our British territories.

In today’s world of new threats and extremist ideologies – and I’m not just talking about Mr Corbyn – we must be bold and unapologetic in standing up for our values.

Conservatives do not talk Britain down.

We are the party that raises horizons, transforms lives and secures a better future.

We know that trade, investment and free markets provide the route out of poverty.

And as we look to support prosperity in developing countries and growth in the UK, Brexit is the opportunity to secure our place in the world.

Britain can reassert itself as a global beacon for free trade, enterprise and free markets.

Earlier this year I launched DFID’s first-ever Economic Development Strategy and set out a vision for how the private sector can boost jobs, growth and development.

My objective is clear.

I’m not here to endlessly hand out money.

I will help people and countries stand on their own two feet.

Like Mary in Ethiopia who now works full-time in the new industrial zone in Hawassa.

Thanks to DFID, she can now provide for her family.

Also millions of girls around the world are now able to go to school.

And the job of everyone working in development must be to end aid dependency.

We are offering a hand-up, not a hand-out.

That’s why I’m working with colleagues across Government to promote economic development.

In Nigeria, we are working to create real jobs and tackle the scourge of modern day slavery.

Our trade Department is creating new trading links in some of the poorest countries in the world.

I want the countries who receive aid today be our trading partners of tomorrow.

We made a clear commitment on aid in our manifesto.

We will honour it.

The money I’ve saved from closing programmes, is going on projects such as the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases.

We will deliver over a billion treatments to fight cruel, avoidable infections such as trachoma, Guinea-worm and river blindness.

Britain is leading the way on clearing landmines globally.

And I am placing a new international emphasis on improving the lives of people with disability.

That’s not all.

Across this country there are thousands of small charities led by inspirational people, doing amazing work around the world.

But for years, they have found it impossible to access UK aid, because the aid budget supported big international charities.

That is why I’m opening up the aid budget to the Best of British charities up and down the country.

Using British values and expertise to shape a better world.

This Conservative Government is leading the way in eradicating polio from the face of the earth, forever.

And I want to pay tribute to the thousands of Rotarians across the world – and in this audience – who have led the fight against polio.

Earlier this year, the world faced the terrifying prospect of four famines.

We succeeded in getting the rest of the world to pull their weight.

It was Global Britain that raised the alarm and pushed the international community to step up and deliver a life-saving response.

That saved millions of lives, and I will continue to challenge others to do more.

Compare that with Labour’s approach to the world.

Last week, at their conference, Mr Corbyn failed to condemn North Korea for abusing human rights and flouting international rules by launching missiles.

He failed to condemn Venezuela – where the regime he has held up as a beacon for others to follow, is viciously stamping out all opposition.

He failed to condemn the terror his friends in Hamas have unleashed upon the Israeli people.

And not once did he confront or condemn his supporters who have launched a wave of anti-Semitism, bullying, and abuse against anyone who does not subscribe to their extremist views.

And as he stood in Brighton, of all places, he once again failed to apologise for standing side-by-side with the IRA terrorists who brutally murdered and maimed. Disgraceful.

Our approach is different from Labour’s, because our values are different from Labour’s.

They believe that wealth is created by governments and bureaucracies.

We believe that wealth is created by people and enterprise.

I believe in people, markets and freedom.

This is what will genuinely serve the interests of the many and not the few.

The Labour Party, despite what they say, does not stand for the many.

It stands for the vested interests and narrow dogma of the few.

Exploiting the hopes and fears of young people, only to go on and lie to them.

Celebrating the state-sponsored theft of the property held by private citizens.

And when it comes to international relations, they have just one principle.

To turn a blind eye and refuse to speak out as their socialist friends and comrades unleash violence and repression against people and communities.

Shame on them, shame on the Labour Party and shame on their vile brand of socialism.

It is our responsibility to stop them from getting anywhere near the door of Number 10.

They are not fit to represent Britain or the British people.

That is why what you do is so important.

From me, from all of my colleagues in Cabinet and Parliament, I want to say a huge thank you.

Because it’s your hard work and campaigning that made all the difference.

You delivered us the highest Conservative vote for many years – some 13.6 million people who backed us at the ballot box.

So, we know what we need to do.

We must set out the positive case for Conservative values across all areas of policy.

Explain why our ideas will create the society that we all want to see and live in.

Not just for us, for our children and for their children.

One which is open, tolerant and extends opportunity for all.

British Conservative values are my values.

And I will use them to shape a better country and a better world for all.

Thank you.

Michael Fallon – 2017 Speech at Conservative Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, at the Conservative Party conference held in Manchester on 3 October 2017.

This week we set out plans for a Global Britain that stands up for our people and for our values.

This city needs no reminding of the threats from extremists who want to destroy our way of life.

When I became Defence Secretary, Daesh terrorists were at the gates of Baghdad, enslaving women, beheading British hostages, and throwing gay people off buildings. And when the democratic Government of Iraq appealed for help, Britain answered the call.

At our conference three years ago, I announced the first successful RAF airstrike.

As of last night there have been 1,600 airstrikes.

The Army has trained 60,000 Iraqi forces.

The Royal Navy has been guarding the United States carriers in the Gulf.

Daesh is being defeated.

The black flags have been torn down.

Three million people have been freed from its murderous rule.

So we should be very proud of the contribution of our Armed Forces to this success.

And I am delighted to tell you that a new medal will be awarded to those servicemen and women who are doing so much to fight the evil of our time.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me they deserve nothing less.

Conference, terrorism is not the only threat to our security.

Russian aggression with the highest level of submarine activity since the Cold War, thousands of troops exercising on NATO’s borders.

North Korea firing ballistic missiles over Japan.

Cyber-attacks on our national health service and on our Parliament.

So we are stepping up our response.

Today our armed forces are on operations in more than 25 countries, they’re helping to stop Afghanistan become a haven for terrorists. They’re training Ukraine’s Armed Forces to defend themselves against Russian aggression.

They’re in Nigeria helping to tackle terrorists and they’re supporting United Nations peacekeeping in Somalia and South Sudan and we are leading in NATO – our Army deploying in Estonia and Poland; RAF Typhoons protecting the Black Sea skies; and the Royal Navy leading NATO’s maritime task groups.

And our Armed Forces are also ready for anything.

Look at our response to the most powerful hurricane ever to hit the Caribbean.

RFA Mounts Bay was already on station to provide immediate assistance – helping our people, the people of the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos.

Within a week we had deployed 600 service personnel, 3 helicopters, and one Foreign Secretary. We even flew French supplies from Normandy to Guadalupe.

From Asia Pacific, to the Middle East, to Europe we are deepening our defence ties with allies and partners. And we have no greater ally, Conference, than the United States.

In Defence Secretary Jim Mattis we have a true friend of our nation with whom I work closely with on Russia, on North Korea, and on the campaign against Daesh. And here at home our Armed Forces are patrolling our skies and seas, every hour of every day.

Every one of them deserves our gratitude.

Conference, there is no better statement to the world of our ambition for Britain than our two new aircraft carriers. Weighing 65,000 tonnes, they each provide four acres of sovereign territory, deployable around the globe, to serve on operations for the next 50 years.

Made in Britain, built in six ship yards, assembled in Scotland, they are a tribute to British engineering, British technology, British skills – the pride of our nation.

And yes, there will be fighter planes on them.

We already have 12 F35 jets with 120 pilots and ground crew training up in the United States, before the first Squadron arrives at RAF Marham next summer.

And what does Jeremy Corbyn have to say in response?

He’s asked “why do we have to be able to have planes, transport aircraft, aircraft carriers, and everything else to get anywhere in the world?”

Well, you don’t get very far without them. He wants to slash defence spending.

He wouldn’t authorise drone strikes on terrorists. He would abandon our NATO allies.

We must never put the security of our country in the hands of a man whose warped worldview puts him side of those who threaten us. We are backing up our ambition with the fifth biggest defence budget in the world.

A budget that our manifesto committed to increasing by at least half a per cent above inflation in every year of this parliament. Of course you’ll always find retired Admirals or Generals who like more.

What matters isn’t just numbers: it’s power: stronger, smarter defence. We’re now investing £18 billion a year – by the way that really is £350m a week. In the last three years we’ve started building seven new ships and submarines for the Royal Navy. Now I want to see more of our ships out there patrolling the seven seas.

So today, Conference, I am announcing £800 million of support contracts that will produce faster turnaround and improve the availability of the Royal Navy’s world class warships. The Army is getting new attack helicopters, and new armoured vehicles built in Wales.

For the RAF, 16 new transport aircraft have joined our fleet, and 9 maritime patrol aircraft will start arriving in Lossiemouth. Under Theresa May’s leadership, we are also renewing our nuclear deterrent, building four Dreadnought class submarines.

North Korea’s illegal testing underlines just how irresponsible it would be to scrap the deterrent that protects us. It is all very well Jeremy Corbyn saying he would never use nuclear weapons but Manchester and London are closer to Pyongyang than Los Angeles. Being prepared, in the most extreme circumstances, to use nuclear weapons is what separates a Prime Minister from a pacifist.

As we grow our defence budget we must continue to modernise the way we work.

To modernise how we equip our Armed Forces, everything from ration packs to medical kit, will save £600m.

Improving how we run our test and training sites will deliver £300M of further savings.

And as those threats intensify we are now looking across government to make sure we are doing enough, spending enough, to properly protect our country against all of them – cyber, hybrid warfare, rogue states, terrorist attacks.

Spending 2 % of GDP on defence is the minimum NATO commitment. We meet it but we should aim to do better still.

One of the privileges as Defence Secretary is meeting the outstanding people who make up our Armed Forces. Many of them started as cadets. This morning I visited Albion Academy in Salford, one of 150 new cadet units we have already set up. They are instilling values of resolve and service, discipline and loyalty – from which we can all learn.

So today I am announcing the creation of a further 30 new cadet units in state schools.

I also want to attract more ethnic minority and female recruits.

I set a target for 10 per cent of recruits in future to come from a black, Asian, or minority ethnic background by 2020 – seven per cent now do.

They’re joining some who have already reached the ranks of Brigadier, Commodore, and Air Commodore. We are also on track to meet our target that 15% of new recruits should be female – but I want to do even better.

So I’m opening up every single role in our Armed Forces to women so that talent, not gender, determines how far you can go.

And I will expect the next Chief of the Defence Staff – he or she… – to champion more diversity in the leadership of our Armed Forces.

I will also lead a new Ministerial Covenant and Veterans Board to look after our servicemen and women better when they leave. Often the worst scars are the ones we can’t see, so we will deliver mental health services better tailored for veterans.

Conference, I’m tackling other injustices too

Thanks to our evidence, thousands of false legal claims against our Armed Forces have been dismissed, the solicitor involved has been struck off, and I’ve shut down the Iraq Historic Allegations Tribunal.

And I am working with James Brokenshire to make sure that investigations into killings during the Troubles focus on terrorists, not those who protected our people.

And I will ensure that our former servicemen are fully supported throughout.

Conference, under this government we will go on increasing defence spending. Our magnificent armed forces will keep us safe.

But as citizens of a truly Global Britain we have a wider, deeper responsibility.

We must defend our values too.

Britain, this great country, stands as a beacon to the world for our commitment to freedom, democracy, tolerance, and the rule of law.

We face terrorism and aggression from those who hate not because those values are losing but because they are winning – values that have lifted millions around the globe out of oppression and poverty.

With the fifth biggest defence budget in the world, we have the means. So we must always be ready to answer the call from further away, from fragile democracies, from the very poorest, from the hardest hit.

That means deploying our ships, our planes, and yes, our troops on the ground where we and our allies are asked to help.

Standing up for what we believe in – that is Global Britain.