Theresa May – 2018 Speech in Cape Town

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, in Cape Town, South Africa, on 28 August 2018.

Good morning everyone, and thank you all for joining us today. It’s a pleasure to be here in Cape Town, a city whose recent past lends it a special resonance for many around the world, and which symbolises the transformation experienced by South Africa.

Out in the bay lies Robben Island, where for so long so many were unjustly imprisoned for dreaming of a country in which the colour of your skin made no difference to your rights and opportunities.

Foremost among them was, of course, Nelson Mandela. As the world marked the 100th anniversary of his birth earlier this year, a memorial to the great man was unveiled in Westminster Abbey. There it sits alongside tributes to the kings and queens, poets and scientists who have shaped my nation’s history – a fitting recognition of the lasting impact Mandela made on the world.

Mandela’s walk to freedom – and that of South Africa – was long and arduous. But 28 years ago, barely a mile from here at Cape Town City Hall, he spoke for the first time following his release from decades behind bars.

Four years later, on Grand Parade, the newly inaugurated president of South Africa spoke of his election not as a victory of party, but of people. Of the power of democracy, and the necessity of unity, of equality, of universal rights.

He spoke of the need to transform not just the culture and politics of South Africa, but its economy too. Of his desire to “change South Africa from a country in which the majority lived with little hope, to one in which they can live and work with dignity, with a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the future … building a better life of opportunity, freedom and prosperity.”

It was a bold vision, one shared not just by millions of South Africans but hundreds of millions of people across the world.

People including Kofi Annan. His unlikely journey from Ghanaian suburbs to global leadership took a very different route to that of Mandela. Yet, like your former president, Annan’s impact, influence and values spread well beyond the borders of his beloved homeland. And, like Mandela, the world is a poorer place for his passing – but all the richer for his legacy.

The life stories of these two great men encapsulate the ebbs and flows of history. They demonstrate just how much can be achieved over the course of a lifetime. But also that progress can never be taken for granted – the fight to secure our gains is constant.

Mandela was born in 1918 with the world on the brink of peace from a war that was meant to end all war. But when Annan was born just twenty years later, those dreams of a lasting peace were about to be shattered once again, claiming millions of lives, including many from this continent.

It was in the aftermath of this devastation that the United Nations – the organisation that half a century later Annan would go on to lead – was founded. And despite false starts and mistakes along the way, global institutions and co-operation established in this period have delivered great gains for development.

It was at the same time, that independence movements of a generation of new nations, took on a renewed urgency. People across the world won the right to self-determination, constitutions were written and countries were born.

And the embrace of free markets and free trade, which accelerated further with the end of the Cold War, has acted as the greatest agent of collective human progress the world has ever seen. In those countries that have successfully embraced properly regulated market economies, life expectancy has increased and infant mortality fallen. Absolute poverty has shrunk and disposable income grown. Access to education has widened, and rates of illiteracy plummeted. And innovators have developed technology that transformed lives.

The progress that we have made over the past century is remarkable. The opportunities for the next generation even more so. But to deliver on that promise we need to recognise new challenges.

As war and state-based conflicts have declined, it has been replaced by new threats. In the past five years, terrorists have killed around 20,000 people in Africa – from the 2013 siege in Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre to last year’s horrific truck bombing in Mogadishu and March’s al-Qaeda attacks in Burkina Faso. Whether in Europe or Africa, non-state actors are threatening our lives and radicalising our people.

And today, malign state activity is on the rise – from cyber attacks on national infrastructure and institutions, to the use of chemical weapons on the streets of the UK and Syria.

While free trade and globalisation have brought huge benefits, they have not been felt by everyone and too many of our citizens fear that they will be left behind. From the great Financial Crisis of 2008, to the advent of artificial intelligence replacing human labour, people are questioning the model of economic development we seek to defend.

And as we face such troubling questions, the capacity for governments old and new to provide the answers is being challenged.

For some, the solution lies in seeking to halt or reverse change. Undermining the institutions of global co-operation, rebuilding the barriers to trade, viewing global competition as a zero sum game.

I disagree.

Because these are not challenges faced by a single nation alone.

The ideology that inspires vicious terrorist attacks does not respect borders. A chemical weapons attack does not only harm its victims but weakens the rules that protect us all from such behaviour. In a more connected world we must all deal with the consequences, for good and ill, of increased mobility – not just of people through migration flows, but also of money, of data, of ideology. And we should recognise that competition and cooperation are not opposites. They can be mutually reinforcing.

So now is the time for the nations of the world to come together. To co-operate. To view international competition as a process through which both sides can benefit. To work as partners, sharing our skills, our experience and our resources to tackle the challenges we face, to contain and direct the forces shaping the world and to deliver prosperity, security and success for all our people.

This week I am visiting three countries – South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya – that I regard as key partners in achieving this goal. With thriving democracies, strong international ties, including through the Commonwealth, and fast-changing economies, they are typical of 21st century Africa. An Africa very different to the stereotypes that dominated previous centuries, and that some people still believe even today.

In 2018, five of the world’s fastest-growing economies are African. The continent’s total GDP could well double between 2015 and 2030. By 2050, a quarter of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s consumers will live here.

From the Western Cape to the Mediterranean come stories of increasing stability, growth, innovation and hope.

South Africa, for so long blighted by the evils of Apartheid, is free, democratic, and home to one of the continent’s largest economies.

In Cote D’Ivoire, United Nations peacekeepers have gone home and GDP is growing three times faster than in Europe.

And Ethiopia – for a generation of British people often associated only with famine – is fast becoming an industrialised nation, creating a huge number of jobs and establishing itself as a global destination for investment.

Yet, in a situation familiar to nations around the world, progress has not been uniform.

As well as emergent democracies and growing economies, Africa is home to the majority of the world’s fragile states and a quarter of the world’s displaced people.

Extremist groups such as Boko Haram and al-Shabab are killing thousands. Africa’s ocean economy – three times the size of its landmass – is under threat from plastic waste and other pollution.

Most of the world’s poorest people are Africans. And increasing wealth has brought rising inequality, both between and within nations. For example, much of Nigeria is thriving, with many individuals enjoying the fruits of a resurgent economy. Yet 87 million Nigerians live on less than $1.90 a day – making it home to more very poor people than any other nation in the world.

Achieving not just growth but inclusive growth is a challenge faced by governments in the UK, Europe, North America and beyond. And as African economies become more successful it is an issue that is being confronted here too.

Because, in the years ahead, demographic change will present further economic challenges and opportunities for this continent. Before arriving here this morning I visited the ID Mkize Secondary School in Gugulethu. The teenagers I met there were an inspiration, full of ideas and enthusiasm about their own futures and full of pride about the future of their country and their continent.

It’s an outlook they share with so many Africans, 60 per cent of whom are aged under 25. Such a young population represents a phenomenal level of human capital and potential. With their innovation, dynamism and creativity, Africa’s young people could enrich not only this continent but the world economy and society at large.

But to make the most of this promise it needs to be properly harnessed. Between now and 2035, African nations will have to create 18 million new jobs every year just to keep pace with the rapidly growing population. That’s almost 50,000 new jobs every single day, simply to maintain employment at its current level.

That would be huge challenge for any continent, let alone one where economic growth is still fragile and markets are still developing.

And it is indicative of the need to redouble our efforts to ensure the forces shaping our world deliver for all our people. Because the challenges facing Africa are not Africa’s alone. It is in the world’s interest to see that those jobs are created, to tackle the causes and symptoms of extremism and instability, to deal with migration flows and to encourage clean growth.

If we fail to do so, the economic and environmental impacts will swiftly reach every corner of our networked, connected world. And the human impacts – from a loss of faith in free markets and democracy as the best way to secure global growth and human rights, to greater conflict and an increased susceptibility to extremism – will be similarly global.

That is why I want to create a new partnership between the UK and our friends in Africa, one built around our shared prosperity and shared security.

As Prime Minister of a trading nation whose success depends on global markets, I want to see strong African economies that British companies can do business with in a free and fair fashion. Whether through creating new customers for British exporters or opportunities for British investors, our integrated global economy means healthy African economies are good news for British people as well as African people.

That’s why I’m delighted that we will today confirm plans to carry over the European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreement with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique once the EU’s deal no longer applies to the UK.

As a Prime Minister who believes both in free markets and in nations and businesses acting in line with well-established rules and principles of conduct, I want to demonstrate to young Africans that their brightest future lies in a free and thriving private sector. One driven and underpinned by transparency, high standards, the rule of law and fairness. Only in such circumstances can innovation truly be rewarded, the potential of individuals unleashed, and societies provided with the opportunities they want, need and deserve.

And as Prime Minister of a global nation, I’m all too aware that our domestic security is reliant on stability worldwide, not just in our immediate neighbourhood. From reducing drivers of illegal migration to denying refuge to terrorists who would strike our shores, in 2018 African and British security are inextricably linked and mutually dependent. That’s one of the reasons why I continue to support calls for a permanent African presence on the UN Security Council.

So of course there is an element of national self-interest in what I’m proposing. I want to do what’s right for my country, just as President Ramaphosa wants what’s best for South Africa.

And I see no distinction between national self-interest and global co-operation. For when the multilateral system works, it does so on behalf of nation states and our people, allowing us to harness the best we each have to offer, preventing the large dominating the small, and reinforcing fairness, transparency and the rule of law.

It is not about extending geopolitical influence or creating lopsided dependent relationships. It is about the UK seeking to work more closely with the more than 50 nations of Africa to deliver our shared security and prosperity, and through this strengthening a global system that is capable of delivering lasting benefits for all.

At the very heart of that partnership should be job creation. Every African leader I speak to identifies jobs as the number one demand of their people and their greatest political priority. Indeed, it is also at the centre of my agenda in the UK.

It is the private sector that is the key to driving the growth that will deliver those jobs – transforming labour markets, opening up opportunity and unleashing entrepreneurial spirit. And the UK has the companies that can invest in and trade with Africa to do just this.

However, for a variety of reasons the private sector has not yet managed to deliver the jobs and investment that many African nations need.

So I want to put our development budget and expertise at the centre of our partnership as part of an ambitious new approach – and use this to support the private sector to take root and grow.

And I can today announce a new ambition: by 2022, I want the UK to be the G7’s number one investor in Africa, with Britain’s private sector companies taking the lead in investing the billions that will see African economies growing by trillions.

We have the tools to do so. The City of London makes the UK the unrivalled global hub for international investment, with more than £8 trillion of assets under management. We are home to cutting-edge science and technology and world-class defence, diplomacy and development. We are a trusted and trustworthy partner: our legal system is second to none, including some of the toughest anti-corruption laws in the world. Where our companies fall short, they are held to account, in the courts if necessary. And our commitment to free and open trade under the rules-based order means our international partners know they will be treated fairly.

So a driving focus of our development programme will be to ensure that governments in Africa have the environment, knowledge, institutions and support to attract sustainable, long-term investments in the future of Africa and Africans.

And to help bring those investments about, I can today announce an additional £4 billion programme of UK investment in African economies that will pave the way for at least another £4 billion of private sector financing.

This includes, for the first time, an ambition from the UK government’s Development Finance Institution, CDC, to invest £3.5 billion in African nations over the next four years. And next year London will host an Africa Investment Summit, helping investors and African governments forge closer ties with one another.

And because markets and economies need people as well as capital, we will also be sharing our expertise – supporting partner countries in developing their business environments and institutions, integrating into global value chains, building ties with investors and tackling barriers to growth.

To do so, we will radically expand the UK government’s presence in Africa, opening new missions and bringing in trade experts, investment specialists, and other policy experts.

We will continue to invest in the human capital that underpins future prosperity, ensuring that young African men and women have access to the quality education, healthcare and skills they need to fulfil their potential.

And we will use our influence and global standing to encourage other developed nations, and the global institutions of which we are a leading member, to take the same approach.

The ability to do this – to bring so much more to the table than just government funding – is what marks out the UK’s development programme as so effective.

Aid is a crucial part of the equation, but it is accompanied by our ability to leverage huge sums of private sector investment from our capital markets. By our world-class professional services. By our unrivalled expertise in financial services and education. By our investment in science and research and the experience of some of the world’s most innovative companies.

And it is all underpinned by our respected legal system, regulatory standards and values: British investors respect ethical practices, comply with local laws, contribute to local economies and build long-term local capability.

So while we cannot compete with the economic might of some foreign governments investing in Africa, what we can offer is long-term investment of the very highest quality and breadth. Something that will deliver more for Africans for longer, and which can only be achieved when the government and private sector work together.

At the same time, investment cannot be attracted nor growth achieved in the absence of security and the stability it brings. So, we also need to target our development assistance to build that stability and tackle the drivers of fragility.

By 2030, 80 per cent of the world’s extreme poor will live in fragile states. Even in countries considered relatively stable and prosperous, pockets of fragility persist.

The UK is already providing support for African governments that are meeting this challenge head-on. Nigerian troops on the frontline against Boko Haram have received specialist training from Britain. Counter-terror operations in Mali are being supported by British Chinook helicopters. British troops in Kenya have trained African Union peacekeepers heading for Somalia, while also working with international partners to reform the Somalian security forces for the long-term.

UK law enforcement works hand in hand with their counterparts across Africa to tackle the destabilising menace of organised crime, from people traffickers to drug smugglers.

But the answer to security challenges is not purely military or operational – it is also political. The new partnership I am proposing means working with African leaders who are driving progress, taking on the political challenges and vested interests to ensure that benefits flow to all their people. And it means building strong institutions, and helping to build trust between those institutions and the people who are governed by them.

Because it is from those institutions – the building blocks of nation states – that all the benefits I have described today ultimately flow. Without the stability and certainty provided by reliable legal systems, enforceable contracts, recognised standards and so on, it is impossible for responsible private sector companies to make long-term investments. It is impossible for economies to create sufficient numbers of skilled, jobs. And growth cannot be fair and inclusive if markets, whether domestic or international, are not governed by transparent and effective rules that are actively enforced.

This is particularly important in the fight against corruption and dirty money, both of which have the potential to push development off course by undermining the rule of law and diverting money out of the economy. That’s why, later this week, the UK will be signing a new agreement to repatriate huge sums of money that have been illegally removed from Kenya – allowing this money to be returned to its rightful owners and invested in the future of their country.

And we must also support governments as they work to ensure development is not stalled by other threats. This includes boosting resilience against climate change and tackling demographic challenges by empowering women and girls with access to safe, voluntary modern family planning, enabling access to education and skills.

In setting out this new partnership with Africa, I am making a broader proposition for how we will use our development assistance across the world, led by my excellent International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.

And as we reorient our development programme, I want to be clear: foreign aid works. Since 2015, UK aid in countries around the world has paid for more than 37 million children to be immunised, saving more than 600,000 lives. We’ve helped almost 11.5 million young people get an education, and given more than 40 million people access to clean water or proper sanitation. As I stand here today, people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being treated with an Ebola vaccine developed with support from the UK.

The UK’s role in international development is something of which I am immensely proud, as I believe the nation as a whole should be. We will remain a global champion for aid spending, humanitarian relief and international development. We will continue our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on official development assistance. And we will not falter in our work to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.

But I am also unashamed about the need to ensure that our aid programme works for the UK. So today I am committing that our development spending will not only combat extreme poverty, but at the same time tackle global challenges and support our own national interest. This will ensure that our investment in aid benefits us all, and is fully aligned with our wider national security priorities.

In practice, this will mean helping fast-growing frontier markets like Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal to sustain their development progress and create opportunities for investors, including British companies.

It will also mean supporting countries and societies on the front line of instability in all of its forms. So we will invest more in countries like Mali, Chad and Niger that are waging a battle against terrorism in the Sahel – including by opening new embassies in Niger and Chad and having a much larger presence in Mali.

We will do more with countries like Jordan, who are facing the threat of Daesh’s dispersal and the burden of the tragic conflict on their border with Syria, and to reinforce democracies facing state-based threats, as we recently did through our Western Balkans summit.

We will use our aid programme to support a major new crack down on illicit finance and organised crime, deploying expertise in financial centres around the world and increasing our work with law enforcement to return more of the billions of dollars that have been stolen from countries in Africa and elsewhere.

And we will invest more resources into countering illegal migration, modern slavery and trafficking in people.

These new priorities will represent a fundamental strategic shift in the way we use our aid programme, putting development at the heart of our international agenda – not only protecting and supporting the most vulnerable people but bolstering states under threat, shaping a global economy that works for everyone, and building co-operation across the world in support of the rules-based system.

We will use our future spending plans to set out these proposals in more detail.

True partnerships are not about one party doing unto another, but states, governments, businesses and individuals working together in a responsible way to achieve common goals.

Delivering such long-term success will not be quick or easy. But I am committed to Africa, and committed to using every lever of the British government to support the partnerships and ideas that will bring benefits for generations to come.

When President Mandela addressed the Cape Town crowds in 1994, he spoke not only of the immense challenge facing South Africa, but also of his certainty that the people of this country would rise to meet it.

As the world once again faces great uncertainties, I am confident that all our peoples can rise to the moment. That, together, we will tip the balance of change from challenge to opportunity. And that – as friends, partners and equals – we will secure a more prosperous future for all our people.

Jeremy Hunt – 2018 Statement on Daesh

Below is the text of the speech made by Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, at the UN Security Council on 23 August 2018.

I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I’d like to open the session by thanking Mr Voronkov and Ms Coninsx for their briefing on the Secretary-General’s report on the threat posed by the Daesh to international peace and security. I’d also like to welcome Dr Joana Cook. Thank you for sharing the key findings of your report on Daesh women and minors which shows the value of inviting civil society and researchers to inform our discussions.

In the summer of 2014 Daesh swept down the Tigris and Euphrates valleys capturing thousands of square miles of Iraq and Syria and imposing its pitiless rule on millions of people in an area that was once the cradle of civilization. Over the next 3 years, attacks that were directed, inspired or enabled by Daesh would claim more than 30,000 lives including 181 attacks outside Iraq and Syria.

The world responded by forming a Global Coalition to defeat this threat and military action by many countries including my own has driven Daesh from almost all of its domain and liberated millions from its oppression.

But the point I wish to emphasise today is that this has not been vanquished and the root causes of its emergence have yet to be resolved. Britain shares the assessment of the Secretary-General’s report that Daesh is responding to the loss of territory by evolving into a covert terrorist network that branches as far apart as Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen.

Daesh takes advantage of ungoverned space and weak states. Its terrorists do not necessarily require a central direction and they’ve demonstrated their ability to strike in Europe and Southeast Asia. The Secretary-General’s report estimates that as many as 20,000 Daesh fighters remain in Syria and Iraq, including the citizens of many countries. About 900 people with links to the United Kingdom have travelled to join the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. About 40% returned to the UK in the early days of Daesh’s so-called Caliphate and some 20% are believed dead. The rest are still in Iraq, Syria or elsewhere.

Our response to this enduring threat should fall into 2 parts. First we must press on with military operations against Daesh. British forces continue to play their part as members of the global coalition and UK leads in a vital area of strategic communications against Daesh. This year the British government has committed another £20 million to counter-terrorism projects in countries we assessed to be most at risk from returning foreign fighters.

Second, we should renew our focus on prevention. By addressing the root causes of the emergence of Daesh. This means doing more to support peace and reconciliation in Iraq and a lasting political settlement in Syria. It also means responding to specific humanitarian problems. For example, up to 20% of foreign fighters globally are women and girls. Almost 10% of the 40,000 individuals who travelled to join Daesh were minors. Many of whom have witnessed or experienced horrific violence and been exposed to radicalization. Some will be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. We need to act to prevent these minors from becoming the next generation of terrorists. The UN has a vital role in the struggle against Daesh consistent with the responsibility of this Council to address threats to international peace and security. This Council made air travel more secure by passing Resolution 2309 – the first ever Resolution on aviation security. And it addressed the threat from foreign fighters in Resolutions 2178 and 2396. Earlier in 2005, this Council passed Resolution 1624 condemning incitement and repudiating all attempts to justify or glorify acts of terrorism.

The Council should be willing to consider further action in order to counter the use of the internet by terrorists for propaganda and fundraising. Prevention is a key pillar of the UK’s approach to counter-terrorism. Our aim is to identify anyone at risk of radicalization and seek to reintegrate them into society. Agencies and local governments from health education social services and the police routinely meet to identify individuals at risk and refer them to programs run by specialists in de-radicalisation. This approach focused on prevention rather than prosecution after a crime has been committed has turned more than more 500 people away from terrorism in the UK.

Over the years we’ve learned lessons and refined our Prevent programme. We stand ready to share our experiences with countries that face similar problems. Societies that are confident about their beliefs and values and hold governments to account are societies that are resistant to the virus of terrorism. The key to success is partnership between many nations. We mustn’t lose sight of the importance of those partnerships even as Daesh loses its grip on Syria and Iraq. I look forward to our discussion today on how we can act together to prevent and counter the evolving threat from Daesh. Thank you.

Jeremy Wright – 2018 Speech to Edinburgh TV Festival

Below is the text of the speech made by Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in Edinburgh, Scotland on 22 August 2018.

It is an honour to be here at this very prestigious festival.

As you say, I’m fairly new to this job and I recognise that I have a lot to learn, but I hope you will indulge me if I offer some preliminary thoughts on some of the things I have noticed so far.

Today’s discussion is an important one. It is quite clear that the world of broadcasting is changing, with new channels and content producers transforming the media landscape.

For me one fact brings this home loud and clear. Young people in Britain now recognise the name YouTube more than they recognise the name of the BBC.

In these changing times, we must look at what our British broadcasters can do to adapt and thrive.

One way to do this is to become more transparent, as the recent BBC Charter Review demonstrated with a huge step forward.

Another way is to become more national.

A media that is clustered in the capital can’t possibly reflect and represent the rich and diverse tapestry that is the United Kingdom.

It is clear that the development of Media City Salford has been great for the BBC, great for ITV and great for an exciting cluster of tech and production companies in the region.

But it has also been great for the UK as a whole, ensuring greater diversity and representation both on and off screen.

I am delighted that Channel 4 has recently agreed to move 300 staff out of London, with more to come, and to increase spending on programmes outside London to 50 percent of what they do.

I am looking forward to hearing the location of the new national HQ and creative hubs in October and I hope all broadcasters and producers will follow their lead and encourage the spread of jobs, prosperity, and opportunity beyond London.

British broadcasting is having an increasing impact not just across the UK but across the world. UK TV programming sales are now at around a billion pounds a year.

And Planet Earth 2, Midsomer Murders, and Sherlock have been sold to over 200 territories, with Sherlock, for example, being seen by 17 million viewers in China alone.

From Baker Street to Beijing the reach of UK broadcasting is so wide. And it is getting wider.

And although British television is changing, there are some long established characteristics that make it so impressive and important. Television, for example, has always been able to bring us together.

It creates truly national moments through programmes like Planet Earth, Bake Off and even Love Island, helping to create common experiences and bind our communities.

And public service broadcasters remain a vital part of the broadcasting landscape, with 85 percent of people in this country still watching them every week.

Nine out of ten people in the UK think that programming and news coverage from Public Service Broadcasters is trustworthy, a vital asset in the era of fake news.

And strong public service broadcasters mean a strong broadcasting sector as a whole.

For example, they are vital in helping all broadcasters find talent, and one of the things I have heard loud and clear already is how important it is to find the right talent in this industry.

This festival has recognised that for a long time – with the proceeds of ticket sales going to help provide an entry level route into the industry and to give talented individuals in the early stages of their careers a step up.

I pay tribute to that work in helping so many people to have a brighter future in this industry.

And talking about the future, I wanted to finish by saying just a few words about Brexit, which I know is on the minds of many people here.

I know that there is concern about how talent will be able to move between the UK and the EU after our exit from the European Union.

Although you will understand that the final outcome is still subject to negotiation, I can say that the government fully understands how important mobility is for this sector.

As outlined in the recent White Paper on our future relationship with the EU, we are seeking to agree a framework for mobility with the EU.

This will include reciprocal arrangements to allow UK nationals to visit the EU without a visa for short term business reasons, with equivalent arrangements for EU citizens coming to the UK.

And we are working on a broader accord with the EU on culture and education that will, among other things, allow for the temporary movement of goods for major events, tours, exhibitions, and productions.

Beyond that, as you know we have already reached an agreement with the EU on citizens’ rights, which will provide certainty to EU citizens currently living in the UK.

And we will be developing a future immigration policy to welcome the people that we need and that we want to come here.

We understand the importance of retaining European Works Status for the sector, and we were able to confirm this earlier in the year.

I recognise of course that there are still issues to be resolved in this process and you have my assurance that I will make the case for the interests of this sector as we seek to resolve them.

But regardless of our settlement with the EU, broadcasting will remain a vital part of what Britain offers the world.

Because we have a broadcasting sector that’s really worth shouting about.

Thank you for what you do to contribute to that, and I hope that you enjoy the rest of the festival.

Jeremy Hunt – 2018 Speech at United States Institute For Peace

Below is the text of the speech made by Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, at the United States Institute for Peace on 21 August 2018.

In 1898 when Theodore Roosevelt had just completed his tenure as the relatively lowly Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he said: “There comes a time in the life of a nation, as in the life of an individual, when it must face great responsibilities. We have now reached that time… all that we can decide is whether we shall bear ourselves well or ill.”

History will surely judge that the United States lived up to Roosevelt’s challenge. Thanks to wise decisions made by him and his successors, strong American leadership has put in place a global order that has led to unparalleled peace and prosperity. No small part of that contribution has been made by the United States Institute for Peace and I am privileged to be making these comments here today.

This period in our history has seen not just the defeat of fascism and communism but the emergence of an international order based on the application of law rather than might. And the result? An exponential growth in trade, leading to extraordinary advances in economic and social prosperity across the globe.

This is borne out by virtually every indicator, even if they struggle to capture the headlines. For example, notwithstanding terrible recent bloodshed in Syria, the number of conflict-related deaths has fallen from 5 per 100,000 people across the globe in 1984 to just 1.2 per 100,000 in 2016. At the same time average life expectancy has risen from 31 in 1900 to 72 last year.

If you look at the poorest countries you see even more spectacular progress: when I was born in 1966 half of humanity lived in extreme poverty – now it is just 9%, with 137,000 people emerging from this condition every single day over the last 25 years.

It is probably not hyperbole to say this period has been the most productive and successful in the 300,000 years that homo sapiens has existed. But how confident can we be that this democratic political and economic order which has done us so proud will actually be sustained?

Four challenges to the post-war order

After the fall of the Berlin Wall many assumed we had reached ‘the end of history’ – that western liberal democracies were so obviously the best way of running a society that no one would ever question their uniquely successful combination of economic and political freedoms. Indeed what we used to call ‘Western’ values’ have in some ways become universal, adopted by citizens in Africa and Asia as much as Europe and America.

But we now know that such unalloyed optimism was misplaced. Not only is our democratic model declining in attractiveness for too many people but globalisation itself appears in retreat. Whilst in the 30 years after 1970 the number of democracies grew from 32 to 77, in the period since 2006 freedom has been in decline. According to Freedom House, 71 countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties last year – and less than half of UN member states are designated ‘free’.

Four developments in particular should give us cause for concern:

Firstly the established rules of international conduct are repeatedly being flouted by major countries like Russia. The seizure of Crimea in 2014 was the first time that territory has been annexed in Europe by force of arms since 1945. But in fact it was not the Kremlin’s first territorial incursion in this century, which was the invasion of Georgia in 2008.

At the same time, we have also seen the open flouting of international norms on the use of chemical weapons by both Russia and Syria – in contravention of the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997 to which both countries are parties.

As a result hundreds have died horrific deaths in Syria. And this March the Russian government even used a banned nerve agent on the streets of Salisbury in Britain in an attempt to assassinate Sergei and Yulia Skripal. One British citizen was tragically killed as a result.

Such aggressive and malign behaviour undermines the international order that keeps us safe. And of course we must engage with Moscow, but we must also be blunt: Russia’s foreign policy under President Putin has made the world a more dangerous place.

The second challenge is the changing East-West balance of power.

By 2030 China is forecast to overtake America as the world’s biggest economy. 800 million Chinese have lifted themselves out of grinding poverty, surely something everyone should welcome. By 2050 China and India are projected to account for a greater share of global GDP than the G7 – compared to less than half of that level today.

But with economic power comes political responsibility. And whilst China has been vocal in its support for some features of the existing system, particularly elements that enable it to trade freely with the world, it has been less supportive in other areas, refusing for example to oppose Russia’s annexation of Crimea or support measures to strengthen the international ban on chemical weapons. Our hope must be for consistent, strong backing from China for the international rules-based order – and the key will be to get the right balance of competition and cooperation so that we can secure shared objectives wherever possible.

Then there is the third challenge, namely the fraying domestic support for democratic systems in our own countries.

Since the financial crash of 2008, many voters have started to question globalisation and reject political leaders they associate as defending it. This has combined with a sense that attempts to export our own economic and political model to countries like Iraq have ended up as spectacular failures.

Disenchantment is so bad that according to one poll 1 in 10 people in Europe – and 1 in 6 in America – think it would be a good thing for ‘the army to rule’.

Added to which are basic challenges to the plumbing of our systems. The heart of any democracy is freedom of expression, which allows citizens to access independent information to help decide who to vote for. But the ubiquity of fake news, social media targeting and foreign attempts to manipulate elections have undermined confidence that this can actually happen.

The result is cynicism about both democratic systems and the elites who run them, a cynicism that would be fuelled further if companies with a global reach such as Google were to accept censorship as the price of entry into the Chinese market. The result is that those of us – myself included – who strongly support the basic tenets of the post-1945 international order find we are not just having to make the arguments for it abroad, but at home as well.

We should never be complacent about one further challenge, namely the continuing threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism. This continues to use distorted religious dogma to reject the entire basis of the international order – including the modern state system itself which they would like to replace with a so-called Caliphate.

Since the dark days of 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London we have made great military progress towards defeating extremist organisations. But truthfully we have made far less progress in understanding why those movements arose in the first place so we can prevent their re-emergence. Nor have we successfully reassured our own peoples that such ideologies will never be allowed to threaten our own open culture.

So how should we respond to these challenges? I want to suggest 3 things in particular.

1. Firstly we need to rebuild the strongest possible alliances between countries that share the same values.

The visible advantage that won NATO the Cold War was military capability. The invisible weapon was a rock-solid alliance of like-minded nations that sat behind it. Those shared values meant no opponent was ever in doubt about our red lines.

Henry Kissinger, who I am privileged to be meeting in a couple of days in New York, said that “credibility for a state plays the role of character for a human being. It provides a guarantee that its assurances can be relied upon by friends and its threats taken seriously by adversaries.” But instead of building up our credibility, we have been weakening it.

A limp response to Russia’s intervention in Georgia in 2008 can only have made the 2014 annexation of Crimea more likely. Our failure to respond to Assad’s use of sarin gas in 2013 must be at least part of the reason why he chose to use chemical weapons again in 2014, 2015, 2017 and in April this year.

Not every hostile action constitutes the crossing of a ‘red line’ and we will always need a graduated menu of responses. But the strengthening of our credibility in support of a rules-based international order must become a central goal of foreign policy.

Those who do not share our values need to know that there will always be a serious price to pay if red lines are crossed – whether territorial incursions, the use of banned weapons or, increasingly, cyber attacks.

And part of that credibility comes from unity.

We showed that this year with a strong, united response from 28 allies to the use of chemical weapons in Salisbury. 153 Russian intelligence officials were expelled including 60 who were removed by the United States – more than any other country – and the US has since gone further by announcing sanctions. Combined with the decisive US military response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Douma in April – joined by Britain and France – we can see that the red lines on chemical weapon use have started to regain credibility.

And today the United Kingdom asks its allies to go further by calling on the European Union to ensure its sanctions against Russia are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US. That means calling out and responding to transgressions with one voice wherever and whenever they occur, from the streets of Salisbury to the heart of Crimea.

We need to remember the importance of unity as we face, not just on this issue – whether it is halting the malign influence of Iran, ending the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, denuclearising the Korean Peninsula or fair burden-sharing within NATO, where President Trump is surely right to urge higher defence spending by European allies as Britain is doing.

Making compromises for the sake of unity will always be necessary. We should never forget Margaret Thatcher’s words: “It is in a country’s interests to keep faith with its allies. States in this sense are like people. If you have a reputation for exacting favours and not returning them, the favours dry up.”

And one of the biggest threats to European unity would be a chaotic no-deal Brexit. Britain would, of course, find a way to prosper and we have faced many greater challenges in our history. We will always be a dependable ally for the US and all countries that share our values. But the risk of a messy divorce, as opposed to the friendship we seek, would be a fissure in relations between European allies that would take a generation to heal – a geostrategic error for Europe at an extremely vulnerable time in our history. So, as I have been saying to European governments, now is the time for the European Commission to engage with an open mind with the fair and constructive proposals made by the Prime Minister.

For all of us – the United States, the EU and the UK – the strategic choices we make on these issues will have a profound impact on the solidity of our democratic and economic systems. In the face of these new challenges now is surely the time to rebuild the unity of purpose we know is essential.

2. The second response to the challenges we face will take longer – but is even more important. We need to regain the economic momentum that ultimately lies at the root of political power. Power follows money. If we want to project our values, we need competitive economies.

Professor Paul Kennedy of Yale University defined the “process of rise and fall among the Great Powers” as being the result of “differentials in growth rates and technological change, leading to shifts in the global economic balances, which in turn gradually impinge upon political and military balances.”

Britain of course knows this well. In the 19th century, thanks to the Industrial Revolution and the invention of steam-powered mass production, we eclipsed all of our rivals and became the first truly global power in history.

Of course as poorer countries develop, their share of global wealth will increase – and we should welcome that. But we also need to stay in the game. Recent improvements in US growth are encouraging, but all of us need to play to our strengths.

Free and open societies are not just the best hedge against the corruption that disfigures and constrains economic growth in so many countries. They are also the natural incubators of innovative technological advances that power modern economies. As John Stuart Mill put it: “Genius can only breathe in an atmosphere of freedom.” Of the top 10 countries in this year’s Global Innovation Index, nearly all are liberal democracies. Britain is fourth, the US comes sixth – and those 2 countries account for 19 of the world’s top 20 universities.

China’s astonishing march into AI and robotics show that our leadership in creativity and innovation is not unchallenged. We in Britain are responding with a modern industrial strategy, focused on the fourth industrial revolution and including major education reforms along with the biggest investment in rail since Victorian times. But there is much more to do and we must all prove in this new era that free, open, capitalist values are still the key to economic renewal and prosperity. Free trade is a critical too and that the United Kingdom warmly welcomes the support from the US administration for a UK/US free trade deal.

3. The final response to the challenges we face must be to get our own house in order.

Dissatisfaction with the way society works is nothing new – although social media can make it spread like wildfire. But we are putting our heads in the sand if we think we can blame social media by pretending that some of the causes of that resentment are not real – whether caused by the decline in real incomes for many Americans and Europeans, dislocation caused by changes in technology or the identity concerns of many voters caused by immigration.

To reject those concerns as being held by a minority of voters with illiberal views is to make a dangerous mistake. In Britain the 52% of our country who voted to leave the EU cannot be dismissed as far-right extremists. Nor the many who seek change in the US.

Our 2 histories share a common thread of the benefits of freedom and prosperity progressively being shared with more and more of our peoples. But if our electorates believe that such benefits are no longer being shared fairly between political elites and the people they represent, then resentment boils over. Expressing such resentment is an affirmation and not a rejection of the core democratic instinct that a society must work for all its citizens – so the sooner we address those concerns the stronger our democracies will be.

Part of that must be to address concerns about the basic functioning of our democracies. Given the importance of the online world for political communication, the rules governing online activity in the run up to elections should surely be as strict as those elsewhere – and modern electorates should be given confidence that the results cannot be influenced by the cyber activities of other countries.

At the same time, we need to restore confidence in the multilateral institutions whose job is to protect the stability of the international order and the values it depends on. No-one understood the importance of this task better than Kofi Annan, a humane and principled leader who embodied the best of the UN during his 10 years as Secretary General and whose death last Saturday we all mourn. But he would have been the first to acknowledge that all too often these institutions are seen as talking shops with little capacity to engineer real change. Given they sit at the heart of the international rules-based order the UK and US must continue to make common cause to progress bold and necessary reforms.

These are just 3 of the many possible responses to the challenges we face. But if the issues seem daunting, history also tells us that nothing is inevitable.

The progress we have made did not happen by accident – but rather as the result of extraordinary endeavour and difficult choices made at critical moments. I started with Teddy Roosevelt so let me finish with his formidable niece Eleanor who said that in working for the dignity and freedom of the human race “to stand still is to retreat”. Just as others before us, now is the time to move forward, with clarity and purpose.

Mark Field – 2018 Speech in the Philippines

Below is the text of the speech made by Mark Field, the Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, in the Philippines on 17 August 2018.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining me on my first visit to the Philippines as UK Minister for Asia.

More than 70 years after the bombs, artillery and guns of World War II fell silent, academics and historians continue to debate the number of people killed.

Some put the number of deaths worldwide at 45 million. Others believe the number of Chinese casualties alone may have exceeded that number. The people of the Philippines undoubtedly paid a very dear price, with up to one million Filipinos killed – around 1 in every 16 people – considerably more than the losses we suffered in the UK.

In the aftermath of such a devastating conflict, the instinctive response across much of the globe was to set about building a new set of rules and cooperative institutions, to reduce the risk of such large scale slaughter happening again.

The United Nations was the clearest demonstration of the global will to do things differently – not only between states themselves, but also between states and their people.

The Holocaust had made an absolutely compelling case for the need to strengthen the rights of individuals.

But it was also understood that the vicious brutality meted out by the occupying forces in Europe and Asia was in part a consequence of regimes with unchecked power at home.

It was understood that if a state did not respect the diversity of its people and their thoughts, beliefs and wishes, it was likely to be more unpredictable and dangerous beyond its borders.

So countries came together at the United Nations not only to draw up the rules, and the checks and balances of international peace and security, but also the rights and freedoms of all people, and each state’s responsibility to guarantee those rights.

Over the last 70 years that international rule book has been strengthened and broadened within the UN, and through an increasing range of multilateral and regional organisations.

The global rule book now deals with so much more than the weapons we have and what happens when we misuse them.

It deals with how we trade together, and what happens if we renege on those terms. It helps protect the assets that our countries share – our air, our water, our oceans. It helps protect our wildlife, and our national heritage – things that make our countries unique.

This rules-based system would have been unimaginable just one hundred years ago, when war and forceful occupation were still considered a legitimate approach to foreign policy.

Among other things, it has led to a reduction in the proportion of people living in poverty around the world from over 50% in the 1940s, to less than 10% today.

It is a rule book that has protected the sovereignty of the Philippines after centuries of occupation and enabled you to grow as an independent country.

Taken together, this Rules Based International System has had a hugely positive impact on global security and prosperity, protecting people and countries, and helping them to achieve their potential.

This is why the United Kingdom is working so hard with its international partners to cherish and protect these rules. And this is why we regret that the Philippines has decided to leave the International Criminal Court – an institution that we consider to be a cornerstone of the Rules-Based International System, because it makes all people safer. We believe that it needs the support of the whole international community and we are sure that the Philippines could make a great contribution.

Defending the Rules Based International System

And it is why we want to work with countries to tackle global challenges and build a more prosperous and stable future for us all.

Supporting and strengthening the Rules Based International System, so that countries and individuals have the freedom, security and mechanisms to prosper, is what drives our foreign policy.

That is why we are the only one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council that spends both 2% of our GDP on defence and 0.7% of GNI on development.

We take the responsibility of permanent membership incredibly seriously. That means being active across a huge range of issues.

We have played a prominent role – through the UN and EU – in strengthening and enforcing sanctions against North Korea to stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

We work to address crises, by providing humanitarian support for those caught up in them and by supporting efforts to end conflicts; we work with partners across the globe to tackle issues as diverse as violent extremism, sexual violence in conflict, human trafficking and modern slavery, and the illegal wildlife trade; and we campaign to promote girls’ education.

In the past five years alone, UK aid has protected over 67 million children against a range of preventable diseases.

If you look at the current humanitarian disasters – in Syria, South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Northeast Nigeria – you will find that the three biggest donors are the US, the UK, and the EU.

We have led financial contributions to address the crisis facing the Rohingya people of Burma, with £129 million of aid given to date. I saw the real difference this is making on the ground when I visited Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh a few weeks ago.

And you may not know that after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in 2013, the UK government’s £77 million contribution to the humanitarian support effort was greater than any other government in the world – representing 14% of global contributions.

Perhaps more remarkably, that figure was topped by donations from the British public of nearly £100 million.

Global Britain strengthening the Rules Based International System
Despite this track record, some commentators have chosen to interpret the decision of the British people to leave the European Union as a sign of our retreat from our global role.

This could not be further from the truth – being more internationalist is at the core of our vision for a post-Brexit Global Britain, and freeing ourselves of certain shackles that came with EU membership will enable us to realise our vision. Nowhere more so than in our approach to international trade.

Increasing trade, economic activity and employment is the best way to improve the lives of the world’s poorest; just look how more that 500 million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty in China since the 1980s.

No region is more exciting in terms of the potential to increase trade than here in the Indo-Pacific; you have a third of the global economy, and around two thirds of the global population.

The Philippines is a good case-in-point, with 6.7% GDP growth last year, and the potential for more to come. That is why we are busily working to be more present, more active, and more engaged in this region.

I have visited around twenty countries across the region in my first year as Minister. In each one I have made the case for closer links between our governments, our businesses, and our people. We want to be a partner and friend with good relations with all the countries of this region – not choosing between them.

Our relationship with China is crucial now and it will be in the future. As will our deep and long-standing partnerships with Japan and India. And of course, those with Australia and New Zealand. But we need to do more.

So I can say this morning that after leaving the EU, we will be seeking to strengthen our relationship with ASEAN as an institution, and we will endeavour to further strengthen our relationship with the Philippines, building on longstanding relations which date back to Sir Francis Drake’s landing in Mindanao in 1579.

We want to work in partnership to uphold and strengthen the Rules-Based International System in Asia, as elsewhere.

That is why we have stood shoulder to shoulder with Japan, South Korea and other countries in denouncing nuclear adventurism by North Korea. It is why we stand up for the rights of the people of Hong Kong and for the principle of – “One country, two systems”.

And it is why in the South China Sea we urge all parties to respect freedom of navigation and international law, including the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

It is critical for regional stability, and for the integrity of the Rules-Based International System, that disputes in the region are resolved, not through force, militarisation or coercion, but through dialogue and in accordance with international law.

The UK is backing the Rules Based International System in Asia through our security cooperation as well as our humanitarian support and diplomacy. As one of the few countries able to deploy air power 7,000 miles from our shores, we recently sent our Typhoon fighter jets to train with Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia for the first time.

We have also deployed two Royal Navy ships to the region – HMS Sutherland and Albion, and soon also HMS Argyll – meaning we will have an almost unbroken naval presence in the strategically critical Asia-Pacific this year.

One of the first missions of our two vast new aircraft carriers will be to sail through the Straits of Malacca, the route that currently accommodates a quarter of global trade. Not because we have enemies in this region – but because we believe in upholding the rule of law.

Challenges to the Rules based International System

There are unfortunately some leaders who are intent on flouting and undermining the Rules Based International System.

In recent years many countries have fallen victim to Russian state aggression, destabilisation or interference.

There is no plausible alternative explanation than that the Russian state was responsible for the chemical attack against a former Russian spy in the English town of Salisbury in March, using Soviet-developed Novichok. It was the first time since the Second World War that a nerve agent had been deployed in continental Europe.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons agreed a UK proposal last month, which should strengthen the ban on chemical weapons and prevent impunity for their use.

We were grateful to the 82 countries that supported the measures to reinforce a key plank of the Rules Based International System. We were disappointed that the Philippines, and 23 other countries, were not among them.

Conclusion

That brings me to my final point. The Rules Based International System is a network of agreements and institutions that requires our support if it is to continue to protect us and make us more prosperous.

If we stand back – perhaps in the hope of some possible short term gain – we will all be worse off in the long run.

The System is not the property of any one country or alliance of countries – but something that belongs to all of us. It has been built with the shared wisdom gleaned from our shared history.

That history has taught us that too often people have been held back by repression, corruption or authoritarianism. They have not had the opportunities, freedoms and protections to make the most of their talents and hard work.

In the future, as technology increasingly spreads opportunity, the societies that succeed will be the ones that enable all their citizens to fulfil their potential.

The Rules Based International System is the best friend for any person or country with unfulfilled potential. It is the duty of all of us to defend it. It is what I will work for. It is what the UK will work for. We hope you will too.

Theresa May – 2018 Statement at London Western Balkans Summit

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, on 10 July 2018.

Four years ago Chancellor Merkel established the Berlin Process, convening like-minded countries with the singular aim of advancing the prosperity of the Western Balkans.

I want to extend particular thanks to the Chancellor for this initiative.

For the welfare of the Western Balkans should be a high priority for all of us in Europe. And through working together under the Berlin Process, we have already achieved so much.

We’ve helped build up energy and transport links, enhanced economic integration and developed links between civil society and young people – ensuring the contemporary voice of the region is heard.

And today we’ve made further progress, establishing agreements that will help contribute to a more peaceful, prosperous and democratic Western Balkans – anchored to European values and integrated in the Euro Atlantic family.

We have agreed initiatives to expand connections between people, organisations and businesses, and improve access to finance for start-ups and small firms.

However, as we all know, long-term prosperity is intrinsically linked with security. And we need to work together to tackle the common challenges, such as corruption, organised crime and terrorism, that deter investment and undermine confidence in the region.

That is why I welcome the commitments made by the Western Balkan leaders today to ensure their countries work more closely together to tackle corruption and organised crime, and control the misuse and trafficking of small arms and weapons.

I also welcome the continued commitment to resolve outstanding bilateral disputes. I want to extend a special welcome to Prime Minister Tsipras from Greece, and pay tribute to him and Prime Minister Zaev for reaching an agreement on the Name Issue – showing that progress is possible.

History has shown us that a stable and secure Western Balkans region means a more stable and secure Europe.

That’s why today I have announced an ambitious package of measures to help the region improve its collective security, stability and its capability to tackle threats in the future.

Alongside this, I have also announced that the UK is increasing our financial support to the region by over 95% to £80 million in 2020-21 which will go to fund projects that make a real difference such as:

strengthening public administration in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia and Montenegro
promoting judicial reform in Kosovo and Albania
nurturing the business environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia
equipping up to a million primary school children across the region with the digital skills to help realise their potential in the modern world
and strengthening democracy and the rule of law across the entire Western Balkans

The UK has always had a strong commitment to the region – from our role in the peace agreements that followed the conflicts of the nineties, through the post-conflict transition.

I know that some have seen our decision to leave the European Union as a sign that we are retreating from this role.

This is absolutely not the case.

Today I hosted this Summit to bring together leaders from across the Western Balkans and Europe to discuss our shared objective of ensuring our continent remains safe, stable, prosperous and free.

And let me be completely clear – when we are outside the European Union, the UK will be just as committed to supporting the Western Balkans.

Thank you.

Ann Clwyd – 2018 Speech on the NHS Complaints System

Below is the text of the speech made by Ann Clwyd in the House of Commons on 4 July 2018.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to talk about something that has been on my mind for a long time.

It is nearly six years since the death of my husband. Some Members will know that he spent his last two weeks on the respiratory ward at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. He was admitted on Tuesday 9 October 2012 to what should have been a caring and safe place. Instead, what we found was the opposite. I left Owen in what I thought was a place of safety, thinking that the hospital could care for him better than we could at home. How wrong I was. Owen went into the hospital mobile, yet spent two weeks crammed in a bed, on a cold, uncaring ward.

Despite the poor care that Owen received, his condition initially settled. In fact, there were provisional plans for him to come home towards the middle of the second week. Sadly, his condition took a turn for the worse. In the early hours of Monday 22 October, I was advised that there was no reasonable chance of his surviving. He lost his final battle the next day. It was then that my battle began: the battle to find out what had happened to him and why.

Many Members will have heard of my concerns regarding the 27 hours he spent on a trolley in the A&E department. A later inquiry identified a number of nursing deficiencies. Sadly, my efforts to obtain information regarding his medical care have been met with considerable obstruction from the board of UHW.

Some time ago, I received help from an experienced NHS consultant, someone who has prepared numerous cases over a period of 30 years when there are allegations relating to clinical negligence. He said—we normally converse in Welsh:

“Ann, roedd gofal Owen yn esgeulus. Hyd yn oed pe fyddai wedi goroesi ei salwch y tro hwn, byddem yn dal I deimlo fod ei ofal yn esgeulus. Yn esgeulus nid yn unig yn ôl safon 2012 ond yn ôl safon 1948, amser dechrau’r Gwasanaeth lechyd.”

That is, in his opinion, Owen’s care during his hospital stay was negligent. In fact, he said that even if Owen had survived his in-patient stay, his level of care would be considered unacceptable, not only by the standards in place in 2012 but by the standards in place at the inception of the NHS in 1948.

My medical friend has pointed out his concerns. He was astonished to find that no doctor saw Owen on either weekend, no consultant saw him, and no junior doctor saw him. I should point out that he was on a respiratory ward in Wales’s flagship teaching hospital. He was not in a convalescent ward; he was not “recuperating” from an acute illness. My late husband was an unwell man with MS, whose long-term disabilities had been made worse by what turned out to be pneumonia that he acquired at that hospital.

Most concerning, according to my medical friend, was the failure of the medical department to have any kind of effective handover arrangement, whereby the doctor going off duty would hand over all the clinical information to the doctor coming on duty. Formal handovers are far more important these days, as the ​shift systems of junior doctors means reduced hours. This means that over a weekend a patient may be seen by half a dozen different doctors, all working for the same firm.

Since continuing my inquiries about Owen’s care, I have learned a number of medical terms. I now know about a “low grade temperature” and that this may indicate that there is an infection somewhere, without the doctors being able to find out exactly where. I have also become familiar with the term “inflammatory markers”. Inflammatory markers are blood tests that indicate the presence of infection. When the clinical markers change, and in particular when they increase, it suggests that there is an infection somewhere that is not under control. I will refer to just two.

One is known as the CRP—the C-reactive protein. The normal CRP is less than 10; Owen’s CRP was 22 on admission. Now, 22 is not particularly high, but it suggests that there may be an infection somewhere. Eight days later Owen’s CRP had crept up to 41. The fact that it was increasing—“going the wrong way” as the medics would put it—indicated that he could have an infection that could be going out of control. Owen’s neutrophil count—the type of white blood cell that increases during an infection—was also “going the wrong way”. The normal is less than six. It was 8.7 on his admission—[Interruption.] Excuse me, Mr Speaker; I am sorry, but that is my phone.

Mr Speaker That is an extraordinary musical intervention on the right hon. Lady, but I am not sure it is up to her high intellectual standards—but the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon) has come to the rescue, being a selfless public servant as he is.

Ann Clwyd The normal is less than six; it was 8.7 on his admission, and eight days later it was 10.6.

Doctors will tell us that they do not just look at the results of blood tests; they also look at the patient. In Owen’s case, they failed to look at the blood tests and they failed to look at the patient. Members will no doubt be surprised to hear that although Owen’s inflammatory markers had increased during his second week in hospital, this was not recorded in his clinical notes. The tests that noted the increase in CRP and the neutrophil count were done on the Friday. That was four days before his death from hospital-acquired pneumonia. No one saw the results. No one saw Owen. No doctor saw him on Saturday. No doctor saw him on Sunday. By Monday it was too late. I think it is reasonable to assume that if Owen had received effective antibiotics when his inflammatory markers were increasing, he would have stood a fighting chance and would have survived that infection.

I continue to be shocked by the way the hospital board has dealt with my concerns. Members might have heard of so-called independent reports. There was nothing independent about this particular report. All the members were employees of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. The chair was the deputy nursing director, Mandy Rayani. The board’s investigation failed to comment on the medical deficiencies that I have mentioned, but it very quickly acknowledged my “adverse perception” of what happened.

Most of my claims of poor care were denied. Of the 31 concerns that I raised, 21 were rejected. This was despite the fact that a few weeks after my husband’s ​death, Health Inspectorate Wales, the body that inspects Welsh hospitals, visited the ward where my husband had been a patient. While they were inspecting the ward, they noticed that senior nurses went off for their lunch leaving patients who needed assistance to eat without any help, that some patients were found without buzzers to call for assistance, and that individual care plans were not in place for the patients, yet my concerns were dismissed as my “adverse perception” by the deputy director of nursing, Mandy Rayani, in UHW’s so-called independent report.

I remain unhappy with the attitude of the health board. When Owen died, the chief executive was Adam Cairns. He has now left the country and is working in the middle east. When he left, I took my complaint up with other executives and I have found—as I did when I was writing my report for the Government on hospital complaints—that the culture of deny, delay and defend has continued.

I wrote to Maria Battle, the chair of the health board. I wanted to know why no one had spotted the abnormal blood results. I wanted to know why Owen’s low grade temperature did not appear to be of concern to anyone. The first meeting was postponed. We eventually met on 2 August last year. Despite my PA telephoning the board to ask for a copy of its response a week earlier, my medical colleague and I were not allowed to see the report until we arrived in the building for our meeting. I was astonished to hear Ruth Walker, the senior nurse, saying that she had taken it upon herself not to release the report prior to the meeting. I would have expected such a decision to be made by Maria Battle as chair of the board, by Dr Graham Shortland, the medical director, given that the matters mainly related to medical care, or by Dr Sharon Hopkins, who at that time was the acting chief executive.

I believe that the decision of the board to refuse to release this document beforehand reflects its dismissive, insulting and gratuitous attitude to members of the public and to the families of loved ones. It reflects the overall cover-up mentality that is all-pervasive in this health board.

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP) I congratulate the right hon. Lady on securing this debate and on the very personal and poignant way in which she has told the story of her husband’s last few days in hospital. Has she at any stage considered referred this matter to the medical ombudsperson and asking them to investigate her complaint? Hopefully they would come up with an answer that would satisfy her and perhaps give the Minister a way of taking this forward.

Ann Clwyd I am grateful for that kind intervention, and I can assure the hon. Gentleman that I have been down all the official routes.

At the meeting, I soon discovered that it was impossible to get straight answers to my straightforward questions. Ruth Walker, for example, said that the problems of Owen’s care have been addressed by the introduction of the EWS—early warning signs— system. When my medical colleague pointed out to her that all the nursing notes were entered in the EWS format, she could not come up with an explanation. I was also astonished that Dr Shortland was unable to give a straight answer when ​asked about the arrangements for weekend medical cover. The board members were prepared to hide behind another independent report, but the report was incomplete, failing to comment on Owen’s continuing low grade fever, the rise in his white blood cells, the rise in his C-reactive protein count, the failure of an effective handover process between medical staff, and why no doctor saw Owen during his two weekends in hospital.

I have always been a strong supporter of our national health service. I can be proud of representing Cynon Valley, a constituency which is both geographically and philosophically close to the community that bred Aneurin Bevan. It was the community that formed Bevans’ views on the need for an effective health service that is free at the point of need and where the quality of care is not influenced by one’s ability to pay.

Long before becoming a politician, I was on the Welsh Hospital Board from 1970 to 1974 with people such as Arianwen Bevan-Norris, who was Aneurin Bevan’s sister, and Archie Lush, his agent, and I know what they would be saying to me today: “Carry on. Keep on going.” They would not have accepted these kinds of answers. I was also the only Welsh member of the royal commission on the national health service, which met for three years from 1976 to 1979. We made many recommendations at the time, but they were unfortunately not acted upon. If they had been, I am sure that some of today’s problems would have been avoided.

The House will understand my sorrow at the loss of Owen. It is heartbreaking to find that the people whom we appoint to safeguard our services, and who benefit from a significant income and a highly respected position in our society, are unable to address the failings of their organisation, engaging instead in obfuscation and half-truths. The cover-up mentality has to stop. We all make mistakes, but we should be ready to admit them.

My case is not unusual. I have previously told the House of the thousands of letters I received from people from all over the country when I was producing a report for the Government on complaints in England. I knew that the NHS did not treat its complainants well, but I did not expect to be here still looking for answers nearly six years later. In the past, Mr Speaker has allowed me to read out letters that I have received, and more than 4,500 people have written to me about NHS complaints, 500 of which related to the University Hospital of Wales. I am sorry to say that two of my close friends have since died at the same hospital, and complaints have been made about their treatment as well.

In the introduction to the shocking report on Gosport War Memorial Hospital, which was published a few weeks ago, Bishop James Jones of Liverpool said that

“what has to be recognised by those who head up our public institutions is how difficult it is for ordinary people to challenge the closing of ranks of those who hold power. It is a lonely place, seeking answers to questions that others wish you were not asking.”

I will continue to ask those questions on behalf of my family and of the many others who are grieving and who have not had answers.

Theresa May – 2018 Statement on the Department for Exiting the European Union

Below is the text of the statement made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, in the House of Commons on 24 July 2018.

I am making this statement to bring to the attention of the House a machinery of government change.

It is essential that in navigating the UK’s exit from the European Union, the Government are organised in the most effective way. To that end I am making some changes to the division of functions between the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Cabinet Office.

DExEU will continue to lead on all of the Government’s preparations for Brexit: domestic preparations in both a deal and a no deal scenario, all of the necessary legislation, and preparations for the negotiations to implement the detail of the future framework. To support this, DExEU will recruit some new staff, and a number of Cabinet Office officials co-ordinating work on preparedness will move to DExEU while maintaining close ties with both Departments.

I will lead the negotiations with the European Union, with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union deputising on my behalf. Both of us will be supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit and with this in mind the Europe Unit will have overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations, drawing upon support from DExEU and other Departments as required. A number of staff will transfer from DExEU to the Cabinet Office to deliver that.

There will be no net reduction in staff numbers at DExEU given the recruitment exercise described above.

Theresa May – 2018 Speech at Farnborough Air Show

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, at Farnborough Air Show on 16 July 2018.

I am delighted to be here today. First of all, I want to congratulate Farnborough on this brand new exhibition hall. This is an outstanding building – and it is befitting for a world-leading air-show. A world-leading industry. And world-leading innovation, talent and skills.

Every day – in every part of the world – people are flying in planes powered by British built engines. They take off and land in planes with wings built in Wales and Northern Ireland. And our military is supported by some of the most advanced British built unmanned vehicles.

Our capability in some of the most complex parts of aircraft – including wings, engines and advanced systems – is first rate. Outside of the US, Rolls-Royce is the only company with real capability to design and build large civil aerospace engines.

This expertise is nothing new. It is built on a proud tradition of innovative aerospace technology – from Farnborough, Brooklands, Bristol, Broughton, Derby, Belfast, Southampton, Yeovil, Prestwick – to name but a few. Nowhere do we recognise that terrific history more this year than in our celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the RAF.

We can all feel incredibly proud of our position as a leading aerospace nation. By working closely together, government and industry have ensured we remain at the forefront of civil aviation and that our air power is second to none. Today I want us to build on that, and ensure not only that we retain our prominence, but that in an increasingly competitive industry we make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Opportunities that arise not only from the measures I have set out in our comprehensive and ambitious proposal for our future relationship with the EU – but in our plans for an open, outward facing Britain that acts as a global champion for free trade.

On Thursday, the government published its White Paper detailing our plans for an economic and security partnership with the EU.

Our proposal sets out the right deal for the UK – honouring the democratic decision of the British people, protecting the integrity of our precious union, supporting growth, maintaining security and safeguarding British jobs.

We will take back control of our borders, our laws and our money. But we will do so in a way that is good for business and good for our future prosperity.

We know from our discussions with you, and other industries, how friction at the border would not just jeopardise the uniquely integrated supply chains and just-in-time processes on which millions of jobs and livelihoods depend – but how divergence in regulations could result in complex and expensive multiple tests for different markets.

Companies such as Rolls Royce export 80% of their products. Parts for other products – such as Airbus wings – can have multiple journeys before finally being assembled and sold around the world.

We know too just how vital precision engineering is in aerospace – where the “error” rate for parts and their performance must be practically zero – and that it is the harmonisation of regulatory standards that has been such an important factor in air safety and the astonishing reduction of deaths on commercial flights.

The frictionless free trade of goods, an independent trade policy, the avoidance of a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and between Northern Ireland and Great Britain – these are conditions we seek. To do anything else risks the integrity of the United Kingdom, reneges on the Belfast Agreement and simply will not deliver for Britain as a global trading nation.

So at the heart of our proposal is the creation of UK-EU free trade area for goods, supported by an up-front commitment to ongoing harmonisation with EU rules on goods and agricultural products.

A new business friendly customs model – a facilitated customs arrangement – which would operate as if we were a combined customs territory, removing the need for customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU, while at the same time allowing us to set our own tariffs for other countries outside of the EU.

The partnership would be underpinned by reciprocal commitments to ensure open and fair trade and a joint institutional framework to ensure consistent interpretation of the agreement and the resolution of disputes.

And we will also, as I set out in my Mansion House speech, explore with the EU on what terms the UK could remain part of EU agencies such as those that are critical for the aerospace chemicals and medicines industries: the European Aviation Safety Agency, the European Chemicals Agency, and the European Medicines Agency.

Because the UK has been a key contributor of expertise to these agencies – and it is our manufactured products circulating throughout Europe and around the world keeping people safe, flying safely, providing essential medicines, enabling everyday activities.

What we are proposing is a solution that respects the referendum result and puts forward what is best for British industry in line with our modern industrial strategy, and what is best for our global trading ambitions.

We are leaving the European Union, and forging a new future for our country. And as we do so, I want to ensure that the UK remains one of the best places in the world for aerospace companies to do business.

To continue as world leaders in innovation. To make the most of the huge opportunities that exist.

Because this is an incredibly exciting time for aerospace. Not only is there huge growth potential, but many of the developments taking place have the potential to transform the way we fly.

Other countries around the world are racing to develop their industries – and respond to the demand for cleaner, greener aircraft and technological advances such as automation, and unmanned air systems.

The UK already has a leading edge. We are home to some of the biggest names in the industry – and our small and medium sized companies demonstrate phenomenal skill, energy and innovation.

Many of those companies are here at Farnborough.

Poeton, who apply ceramic and metallic coatings to aerospace components to protect them from melting, corroding or wearing.

Produmax, whose critical parts can be found in aeroplanes such as Boeing’s Dreamliner – where they play an essential role moving wing flaps. And Aeromet, whose highly complex alloy castings are used in the structural components and casings in aircraft.

But I want us to do more. Already we are backing industry through our £1.9 billion investment for aerospace research, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and our commitment to a third runway at Heathrow. We are also today revealing the UK’s first spaceport – in Sutherland Scotland – which will see vertically launched space rockets and satellites take off from the site.

But today I want to announce a series of further measures to boost British aerospace companies – large and small, up and down the country – and ensure that Britain remains at the cutting edge of the industry.

Along with industry we are jointly providing £343 million pounds of investment for research and development projects and to boost productivity. From developing the most technologically advanced aircraft, creating newer more efficient engines, to the manufacture of cleaner, quieter aircraft that will help cut emissions – this funding will support some of the most innovative projects being advanced today.

This includes £255 million of joint investment research and development projects supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute and UKRI. This will fund 18 projects, involving 20 companies, including 13 small and medium sized businesses, and 12 research organisations and universities spread across the breadth of the UK.

It includes £68.2 million of joint funding with industry for R&D, specifically targeting small and medium sized businesses to help them increase their competitiveness. And a further £20 million of Government and industry match funding will go towards a productivity improvement programme.

Some of the projects this money will support are exploring truly exciting aviation developments, such as the electrification of flight, which could lead towards the cleaner, greener air power of the future. I want Britain to be at the forefront of such innovation.

Building on this, we will start working with industry on a potential Aerospace Sector Deal – capitalising on our work together to tackle barriers to growth, increase productivity and competitiveness. In this, we will look to you to demonstrate how the aerospace sector can further support the industrial strategy’s Grand Challenges, regional prosperity and the delivery of the government’s skills priorities. We will also seek to embed a Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter, to build a more balanced and fair industry for women.

Finally, today, I want to announce the publication of the UK’s Combat Air Strategy – which confirms our commitment to maintaining our world-class air power capabilities, and will boost an industry which generates billions in revenue for our economy and supports thousands of jobs in every part of the UK.

We will invest in new technologies, support cutting edge innovation, collaborate internationally and initiate the programme which will deliver the next generation capability. And crucially, we will work in partnership with industry to achieve this. So today I can announce that the government will join with BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls Royce to fund the next phase of the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative through a ground-breaking partnership known as ‘Team Tempest.’

This will deliver over £2 billion pounds of investment up to 2025, and help secure the long-term future of our Combat Air industry as we lay the groundwork for the Typhoon successor programme.

Taken together, these measures amount to a significant boost for industry, promoting jobs, innovation and skills.

Elsewhere we have seen just what can be achieved when government and industry work together. The successful collaboration between Bombardier and Airbus on the A220 was originally supported by over £100 million pounds of investment from the UK. This will sustain jobs in Northern Ireland well into the future, and I was pleased to hear that JetBlue will be acquiring at least 60 of the aircraft, which could deliver billions to the UK economy.

So just as government will back you, I want you to work with us – particularly through organisations such as the Aerospace Growth Partnership.

Let us work together to build a leading aerospace nation.

A nation where, post Brexit, we are considered the best place in the world for the aerospace industry to base its business.

A nation more innovative than anywhere else in the world, where we nurture the next generation of designers, innovators and engineers.

Last week we saw the spectacular RAF flypast over Buckingham Palace – a demonstration of our impressive historic RAF planes – alongside those that use some of the most advanced technology in the world.

It is a history of aviation we can all be proud of. Together, along with this proud history, I want to ensure that we can have a bright and proud future.

Esther McVey – 2018 Speech on the Personalisation of Benefits

Below is the text of the speech made by Esther McVey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on 19 July 2018.

Thank you very much indeed Andrew.

And it really is great to be here today to talk about my vision for the welfare revolution and the changing world of work.

And it’s terrific to be on a Reform platform.

Because Reform is a fierce advocate for public services in this new age of technology.

Interestingly, I’m the only minister I believe who has spent their whole ministerial career in one department – Work and Pensions – moving from Parliamentary Private Secretary into a Junior Minister role to a Minister of State to now Secretary of State – even with a spell of unemployment in the middle!

And don’t think that irony wasn’t lost on me – when, standing on stage at 5am in a May morning in 2015, surrounded by cameras, lights, people, and hearing the election result that I’d lost.

One moment Minister of State for Employment the next moment unemployed!

But my journey of what life is about without a job started way before that. Growing up in Liverpool in the 1980s – seeing its impact on people and its impact on local communities. Waking up with nowhere to go, time spent wondering what you’re going to do. Some memories actually never leave you.

And it is those images, those deep-seated memories that spur me on. That made me want to come back into politics and also made me want to come back to this department.

And how can we make a system relevant for today’s world of work – and use technology to assist us to do that? How do we make a system that works for millions of people relevant to the individual?

The Department for Work and Pensions is absolutely massive. Its spend is comparable to a country the size of Portugal, or Greece, spending £180 billion of taxpayer money each year – with a day to day operation on which 22 million people depend.

Each week DWP makes 12 million separate payments to a combined value of approximately £3 billion.

Every day we see 80,000 people face to face in a jobcentre.

Each week we take about 1 million phone calls.

We directly deliver most of this through over 75,000 colleagues who operate from over 600 jobcentres and another 100 back offices.

But, despite this scale, it needs to work for people. And people come in many shapes and sizes, with many issues and concerns and – do you know what – with almost unlimited potential.

And it is that potential that our department needs to focus on.

I know some work coaches are here today that work in our jobcentres, and I want to say thank you personally for the work that you are doing. The changes that you have lived through and the transformation that you are making to people’s lives.

And I want to tell you that I am committed to bringing you the tools that you will need to empower people to get a job.

So why are we changing the system? Well there’s quite a few reasons!

The old system stifled opportunities – removing incentives to work more than 16 hours in many cases, and creating an effective tax rate of almost 90% of income for some people.

Known to many of us as the ‘16hr rule’.

Then came the creation of tax credits by the previous government, done so hastily that it undermined its own purpose.

And overpayments, as a result of it being delivered with the flick of a switch in April 2003, meant that if claimants miscalculated what they should be entitled to, they would be hit with a massive bill at the end of the year.

That year, government overpaid tax credits by £2.2 billion, requiring it to claw back money from some of the poorest people in the country.

And the IT system of benefits – well, we depend upon an old one, one that’s out of date – designed and created in the 1980s – quite literally of another age.

Think how technology and IT has changed since then. Our legacy system is pre-Google, pre-mass communication and connectivity.

So the old system – the one being phased out – is an outdated, complicated, disincentivising web of overlapping benefits!

The truth is that people’s life chances were severely held back by the old system of benefits.

And let’s be frank: there is nothing reasonable about expecting people to claim several different benefits from separate local and national organisations.

There is nothing fair about ‘rewarding’ a claimant’s successful search for work and cutting off benefits as soon as they gained a reasonable amount of hours.

There was nothing personal about a complex, indiscriminate ‘one-size fits all’ system – which, I think it is fair to say, embedded low expectations on both sides of the claim desk.

So change has to come – and change that also reflects the rapidly changing world of work in which we live.

Lots of work is changing – it is now online, tasks are being automated, and new industries are being created.

By one estimate, 65% of children starting in school today will do a job that doesn’t currently exist.

We are already seeing seismic shifts, as we enter what is known as the fourth industrial revolution.

The gig economy matches people and tasks more dynamically than ever before – creating new opportunity.

Flexible working is no longer an exception, and we are seeing an increasingly inclusive workforce, where work fits around personal circumstances and caring responsibilities.

Gone is the job for life.

And our welfare system should reflect that. It should be nimble and adaptive – reflecting changing working patterns in this fast-paced moving world.

Our vision is one of a personalised benefit system, a digitised system.

We’ve simplified the system, so it is easier to navigate, by creating an easy point of contact – both online and through the system, but also by introducing dedicated one-to-one work coaches.

We’re rolling 6 benefits into one, that means that people now have a better oversight of their income and can spend accordingly.

The taper rate means that it will always pay to work. ‘Cliff edges’ inherent in the old system – where benefits first dropped-off at 16 hours, and then at 30 hours of work per week – have now gone.

Flexible payments help people take on small amounts of hours, even at short notice, thereby supporting people to work in the gig economy. Through integration with HMRC’s Real Time Information, this means that their benefit payment is adjusted automatically.

This digital system personalises Universal Credit. And we are constantly updating it.

This is not just IT: it is using next-generation technology, design thinking and data to support work coaches.

So when someone calls the full service telephone line, we use technology to automatically route them to their case manager or team – using tech to bring to you a familiar voice.

This technology is currently in 90% of teams in service centres and is now being rolled out further.

When you apply online, the experience is tailored to individual circumstances to allow us to develop the most efficient and effective service. And machine-learning will deliver and be applied to analyse data. The insight is then used by work coaches, who use their expertise to help claimants.

In short, we are developing a system that doesn’t just meet users’ needs, but the specifics of individual’s needs – combining technology and work coaches’ expertise.

This personal support is critical – but is on online and it is in person – as dedicated work coaches help claimants overcome a lack of confidence, a lack of role models or a range of circumstances in someone’s lives.

Mindful always of the claimant’s situation – and track their support and signpost them to places for help.

We are developing a personalised system that gives a 360 degree view of an individual’s needs to provide bespoke tailor-made support.

Even to providing budgeting and IT support, using £200 million of funding to do so.

And this really is about helping people.

And don’t just take my word for it. Consider these examples.

An ex-offender told us that his work coach had been “fantastic”, giving him confidence and time to adjust to life outside prison.

A claimant from Yorkshire, who had mental health difficulties, told us that her work coach “helped me turn my life around. Tailored support – I have now found my dream job.”

Another claimant, with a similar condition, acknowledged the time the new system allowed her to discuss her situation and the way she could move forward: “I have had many appointments with [my work coach] and she has been my lifeline with regards to work and her amazing empathy.”

This is all about personalisation. The personalisation of benefits and digitisation of the benefits system, providing tailored support for the individual. The ability to adapt is key, reflecting the increased pace of life and technological advancements. We’re building an agile system for an agile future.

But we are not complacent that all is working like clockwork.

And where we need to put our hands up, admit things might not be going right, we will do so. We will be a culture of mea culpa, hands up and then we need to change. For just as we are adopting agile technology in this fast-paced world, ministers have to be agile too.

That is why, since January, we have implemented a £1.5 billion package of change that was announced in the Autumn Budget 2017.

So we have made advance payments from day one of the application process, for up to 100% of a person’s total claim, to be paid over 12 months, instead of 6.

That is why we put in place a 2-week Housing Benefit run-on, to give people moving from the legacy system a blanket of support to help them. And that is why we have also removed waiting days.

And since I became Secretary of State in January, I have reviewed legal cases reversing past positions and not appealing court decisions allowing the department to:

– reinstate housing benefit for 18 to 21 year olds
– exempt kinship carers from changes to Child Tax Credit element of Universal Credit
– and further, announce measures to protect severely disabled people when they naturally migrate to Universal Credit

We know that these changes have and will continue to help people. It is crucial that we get Universal Credit rolled out right – right for the 8 million who will go on to use it – and right for the taxpayer.

This is a total test and learn approach – critical to delivering Universal Credit that works for claimants.

We need to reach out too – learn from organisations such as yourselves – and yes, that includes the National Audit Office – about how to design and implement Universal Credit to support claimants, help them into employment, and improve their life chances.

And we realise that there is more to learn, and we want to work with you to understand where we can improve on this important reform.

And there are changes which are still needed, which I am working on. That is debt repayments, support for the self-employed, payment cycles for those in work and an extension of outreach work and an extension of flexible support for claimants.

But be in no doubt – because of the steps that we have introduced to deliver Universal Credit – such as the Claimant Commitment and enhanced training – we are helping to shape a new direction for so many people here in the UK. We are seeing people as individuals, not numbers, and not as a group known as unemployed – but as simply and clearly as individuals.

Since 2010, there has been a jobs revolution here at home.

Just this week we announced a record 32.4 million people in work, an increase of over 3.3 million since 2010.

That’s 1,000 people on average each and every day that have moved into work since we came into government.

That’s 1,000 more people each and every day in charge of their destiny providing support for their family members.

And this jobs revolution has been felt right across the board, with record female employment, record BAME employment and as of mid-2017 there are nearly 600,000 more disabled people in work than 4 years earlier. This personalised system is clearly helping people into work – people who previously didn’t have the opportunities that their talents deserved.

And this jobs revolution has been felt right across the country too.

Employment in the North East has risen by 60,000 since 2010, to 1.2 million.

Employment in the North West has risen by 256,000 since 2010, to 3.44 million.

Employment in the East Midlands has risen by 186,000 since 2010, to 2.28 million.

We’ve seen youth unemployment fall by almost 45% since 2010.

And this does make us the envy of Europe, with youth unemployment at 11.5%, compared with Spain’s 33.8% and Italy at 31.9%.

So much for the wonders of remaining in the European Union.

It means we are building an economy that is fit for the future.

And that future promises to be bright with the right relationship between government and business. Because we are not heavy handed interventionists.

We will focus on how to connect people to work, rather than shoving them into jobs that don’t suit.

Disability Confident – which I set up back in 2013 when Minister for Disabled People – is continuing to spread the message of the untapped pool of talent that disabled people can bring to our workforce – ensuring employers can benefit from that talent.

Find a Job – launched in May this year – provides a 24/7 online job search platform. There have already been 24 million searches on that website, with over 177,000 live job adverts today.

We will continue to support people through the Flexible Support Fund to enable people to spend money on things that make it easier for them to get into work – whether training programmes, travel to an interview, clothing or equipment to start employment.

We want to develop our Universal Support offer to ensure it supports people through the welfare system – to develop their digital skills so important in our digital economy. And we will be looking at how we can improve Universal Support further.

We will explore how we can further join the links between jobcentres and schools to continue to prepare children for a life fulfilling with work – ensuring they go into the careers that they want.

We will continue to use sector-based work academies to help young people develop their skills and links in to business up and down the country.

And we are using apprenticeships and skills programmes to enable people to retrain where they see an opportunity.

And we will ensure that older workers get fuller working lives by helping them back into work, extending working lives through tailored support for upskilling, managing health conditions and working with business to share the benefits that older workers can bring to them.

Our links to people on Universal Credit in work provide us with opportunities to provide support for people to fulfil their potential too.

Personal advancement is key to social mobility and ensuring people reach their potential.

And it is by empowering people, giving them choice and flexibility to carve their own path, that everyone is able to reach this potential.

We are working hard to make Universal Credit work for all. And we want to work with you all to achieve that.

We are both a pragmatic and a visionary government, listening to business, listening to charities, listening to people on the frontline and putting in place the right support to help people taking back control of their lives. And most importantly, always listening to the claimant.

Thank you.