Theresa May – 2019 Statement on Overseas Detainees

Below is the text of the statement made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, on 18 July 2019.

The Government are today publishing new guidance titled “The Principles relating to the detention and interviewing of detainees overseas and the passing and receipt of intelligence relating to detainees”. This will replace the existing “consolidated guidance” and follows a thorough review by Sir Adrian Fulford, the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

Following my request last June for him to conduct a review, the Commissioner held a public consultation in the autumn and organised a Chatham House event in December 2018 for academics, practitioners and representatives from non-governmental organisations to discuss how the consolidated guidance could be improved. He has also taken into account the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament’s recommendations in their June 2018 detainee report and those of Sir Mark Waller, the then Intelligence Services Commissioner, in his 2016 report on UK relationships with partner counter-terrorism units overseas.

The Government have accepted the Commissioner’s proposed principles in full. It is being published today on gov.uk and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The new guidance is being extended to include the National Crime Agency and S015 Metropolitan Police Service and will provide clear direction for UK personnel on their interaction with detainees held by others overseas and the handling of intelligence derived from them. The principles will come into effect from 1 January 2020 once the necessary underlying departmental training and guidance is in place. The consolidated guidance will remain in use until then. The Investigatory Powers Commissioner will continue to oversee and report on its application.​
The Government are grateful to the Commissioner for undertaking this review. The new principles will ensure that the United Kingdom continues to lead the field internationally in terms of providing guidance to personnel on intelligence sharing in a manner that protects human rights.

Our policy remains clear: the Government do not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment for any purpose.

Theresa May – 2019 Speech on the State of Politics

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, at Chatham House on 17 July 2019. It is expected to be the last keynote speech made by Theresa May in her role as Prime Minister.

This will most likely be the last time I will speak at length as Prime Minister and I would like today to share some personal reflections on the state of politics in our country and around the world.

I have lived politics for half a century. From stuffing envelopes for my local party in my school years to serving as a local councillor, fighting a by-election, winning a seat, to serving for 12 years on the opposition front bench, and for nine years in the Cabinet as Home Secretary and Prime Minister.

Throughout that time, in every job I have done, I have been inspired by the enormous potential that working in politics and taking part in public life holds.

The potential to serve your country, to improve peoples’ lives, and – in however big or small a way – to make the world a better place.

Looking at our own country and the world of which we form a part, and there is great deal to feel optimistic about.

Globally, over the last 30 years extreme poverty and child mortality have both been halved.

Hundreds of millions of people are today living longer, happier and healthier lives than their grandparents could even have dreamed of.

As a world, we have never cared more deeply about the ecology of our planet’s environment.

From treating the earth as a collection of resources to be plundered, we have within a generation come to understand its fragile diversity and taken concerted action to conserve it.

The UK is leading the way in that effort with our commitment to net zero emissions.

Social attitudes in our country and many other western countries have transformed in recent decades.

There are more women in senior positions today than at any time in history.

When I was born, it was a crime to be a gay man, legal to discriminate on the basis of sex or race, and casual bigotry was a socially acceptable fact of daily life.

All that has changed – and greatly for the better.

There remains a long, long way to go to achieve what we should rightly seek – an economy, a society and a world that truly works for all of its people.

Where everyone has the security of a safe home and enough to eat; the opportunity to get a good education and a satisfying job to support their family; and the freedom of thought, speech and action to do and be everything their talents and hard work fit them for.

The generation of young people growing up today – in the UK and around the word – have it within their grasp to achieve more in the decades ahead than we today can imagine.

They will have the chance to harness the great drivers of change in the world today – from artificial intelligence and the data economy; cleaner forms of energy and more efficient modes of transport; to the technological and medical advances that will extend and improve our quality of life.

The twenty-first century has the potential to be a pivotal point in human history – when economic, social and technological progress reach a combined apogee with the benefits multiplied and with everyone enjoying a share.

It will not come about without effort.

We will all have to work hard – individually and collectively to reach that better future.

Crucially, the full power and potential of a small, but strong and strategic state must be brought to bear in that effort, establishing and maintaining the legal and economic structures that allow a regulated free market to flourish.

Co-ordinating its own interventions to maximum effect – supporting science and innovation, supplying crucial public services and infrastructure, leading and responding to social progress.

At our best, that has been the story of the democratic century that we celebrated last year when we marked the first votes for women and working men in 1918.

It has been democratic politics, an open market economy and the enduring values of free speech, the rule of law and a system of government founded on the concept of inviolable human rights that has provided the nexus of that progress in the past.

And a healthy body politic will be essential to consolidating and extending that progress in the future.

It is on that score that today we do have grounds for serious concern. Both domestically and internationally, in substance and in tone, I am worried about the state of politics.

That worry stems from a conviction that the values on which all of our successes have been founded cannot be taken for granted.

They may look to us as old as the hills, we might think that they will always be there, but establishing the superiority of those values over the alternatives was the hard work of centuries of sacrifice.

And to ensure that liberal inheritance can endure for generations to come, we today have a responsibility to be active in conserving it.

If we do not, we will all pay the price – rich and poor, strong and weak, powerful and powerless.

As a politician, my decisions and actions have always been guided by that conviction.

It used to be asked of applicants at Conservative candidate selection meetings, ‘are you a conviction politician or are you a pragmatist’?

I have never accepted the distinction.

Politics is the business of turning your convictions into reality to improve the lives of the people you serve.

As a Conservative, I have never had any doubt about what I believe in – security, freedom and opportunity. Decency, moderation, patriotism. Conserving what is of value, but never shying away from change. Indeed, recognising that often change is the way to conserve. Believing in business but holding businesses to account if they break the rules. Backing ambition, aspiration and hard work. Protecting our Union of nations – and being prepared to act in its interest even if that means steering a difficult political course.

And remaining always firmly rooted in the common ground of politics – where all great political parties should be.

I didn’t write about those convictions in pamphlets or make many theoretical speeches about them.

I have sought to put them into action.

And actually getting things done rather than simply getting them said requires some qualities that have become unfashionable of late.

One of them is a willingness to compromise. That does not mean compromising your values.

It does not mean accepting the lowest common denominator or clinging to outmoded ideas out of apathy or fear.

It means being driven by, and when necessary standing up for, your values and convictions.

But doing so in the real world – in the arena of public life – where others are making their own case, pursuing their own interests.

And where persuasion, teamwork and a willingness to make mutual concessions are needed to achieve an optimal outcome.

That is politics at its best.

The alternative is a politics of winners and losers, of absolutes and of perpetual strife – and that threatens us all.

Today an inability to combine principles with pragmatism and make a compromise when required seems to have driven our whole political discourse down the wrong path.

It has led to what is in effect a form of “absolutism” – one which believes that if you simply assert your view loud enough and long enough you will get your way in the end. Or that mobilising your own faction is more important than bringing others with you.

This is coarsening our public debate. Some are losing the ability to disagree without demeaning the views of others.

Online, technology allows people to express their anger and anxiety without filter or accountability. Aggressive assertions are made without regard to the facts or the complexities of an issue, in an environment where the most extreme views tend to be the most noticed.

This descent of our debate into rancour and tribal bitterness – and in some cases even vile abuse at a criminal level – is corrosive for the democratic values which we should all be seeking to uphold. It risks closing down the space for reasoned debate and subverting the principle of freedom of speech.

And this does not just create an unpleasant environment. Words have consequences – and ill words that go unchallenged are the first step on a continuum towards ill deeds – towards a much darker place where hatred and prejudice drive not only what people say but also what they do.

This absolutism is not confined to British politics. It festers in politics all across the world. We see it in the rise of political parties on the far left and far right in Europe and beyond. And we see it in the increasingly adversarial nature of international relations, which some view as a zero sum game where one country can only gain if others lose. And where power, unconstrained by rules, is the only currency of value.

This absolutism at home and abroad is the opposite of politics at its best. It refuses to accept that other points of view are reasonable. It ascribes bad motives to those taking those different views.

And it views anything less than 100 per cent of what you want all the time as evidence of failure, when success in fact means achieving the optimum outcome in any given circumstance.

The sustainability of modern politics derives not from an uncompromising absolutism but rather through the painstaking marking out of a common ground.

That doesn’t mean abandoning our principles – far from it. It means delivering on them with the consent of people on all sides of the debate, so they can ultimately accept the legitimacy of what is being done, even if it may not be the outcome they would initially have preferred.

That is how social progress and international agreement was forged in the years after the Second World War – both at home with the establishment of an enduring National Health Service and, internationally, with the creation of an international order based on agreed rules and multilateral institutions.

Consider, for example, the story of the NHS. The Beveridge Report was commissioned by a Coalition Government.

The Health Minister who published the first White Paper outlining the principles of a comprehensive and free health service was a Conservative.

A Labour Government then created the NHS – engaging in fierce controversy both with the doctors who would work for the NHS, and with a Conservative opposition in the House of Commons which supported the principles of an NHS, but disagreed with the methods.

But the story does not end there. Just three years after the NHS was founded, Churchill’s newly elected Conservative Government was faced with a choice, a choice between going back over old arguments or accepting the legitimacy of what had been done and building on it.

They chose to build on what had been established.

Today, because people were willing to compromise, we have an NHS to be proud of – an institution which unites our country.

Similarly, on the international stage, many of the agreements that underpinned the establishment of the rules-based international order in the aftermath of the Second World War were reached by pragmatism and compromise.

The San Francisco Conference, which adopted the United Nations Charter – the cornerstone of international law – almost broke down over Soviet insistence that the Security Council veto should apply not just to Council resolutions and decisions, but even to whether the Council should discuss a matter.

It was only a personal mission to Stalin in Moscow from US President Truman’s envoy Harry Hopkins that persuaded the Soviets to back down.

Many States who were not Permanent Members of the Security Council did not want the veto to exist at all. But they compromised and signed the Charter because of the bigger prize it represented – a global system which enfranchised the people of the world with new rights, until then only recognisable to citizens in countries like ours.

It’s easy now to assume that these landmark agreements which helped created the international order will always hold – that they are as permanent as the hills.

But turning ideals into practical agreements was hard fought. And we cannot be complacent about ensuring that they endure.

Indeed, the current failure to combine principles with pragmatism and compromise inevitably risks undermining them.

We are living through a period of profound change and insecurity. The forces of globalisation and the pursuit of free markets have brought unprecedented levels of wealth and opportunity for the country and for the world at large. But not everyone is reaping the benefits.

The march of technology is expanding the possibilities for humanity in ways that once could never have been conceived. But it is changing the nature of the workplace and the types of jobs that people will do. More and more working people are feeling anxious over whether they and their children and grandchildren will have the skills and the opportunities to get on.

And although the problems were building before the financial crisis, that event brought years of hardship from which we are only now emerging.

Populist movements have seized the opportunity to capitalise on that vacuum. They have embraced the politics of division; identifying the enemies to blame for our problems and offering apparently easy answers.

In doing so, they promote a polarised politics which views the world through the prism of “us” and “them” – a prism of winners and losers, which views compromise and cooperation through international institutions as signs of weakness not strength.

President Putin expressed this sentiment clearly on the eve of the G20 summit in Japan, when he said that the “liberal idea has become obsolete”…because it has “come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population.”

This is a cynical falsehood. No one comparing the quality of life or economic success of liberal democracies like the UK, France and Germany to that of the Russian Federation would conclude that our system is obsolete. But the fact that he feels emboldened to utter it today indicates the challenge we face as we seek to defend our values.

So if we are to stand up for these values that are fundamental to our way of life, we need to rebuild support for them by addressing people’s legitimate concerns through actual solutions that can command public consent, rather than populist promises that in the end are not solutions at all.

In doing so, we need to show that, from the local to the global, a politics of pragmatic conviction that is unafraid of compromise and co-operation is the best way in which politics can sustainably meet the challenges we face.

We know it is free and competitive markets that drive the innovation, creativity and risk-taking that have enabled so many of the great advances of our time. We know it is business that pioneers the industries of the future, secures the investment on which that future depends, and creates jobs and livelihoods for families up and down our country.

And we know that free enterprise can also play a crucial role in helping to meet some of the greatest social challenges of our time – from contributing to the sustainability of our planet to generating new growth and new hope in areas of our country that have been left behind for too long.

But you do not protect the concept of free market capitalism by failing to respond to the legitimate concerns of those who are not feeling its full benefits. You protect free market capitalism and all the benefits it can bring by reforming it so that it works for everyone.

That is why I have introduced reforms to working practice and workers’ rights to reflect the changes in our economy. It is why I launched the Taylor Review into modern forms of employment like the gig economy – and why we are delivering the biggest improvements in UK workers’ rights for twenty years in response to it.

It is why I have advanced changes in corporate governance – because business must not only be about commercial success but about bringing wider benefits to the whole of our society too.

And it is why we have put in place a Modern Industrial Strategy – a strategic partnership between business and government to make the long-term decisions that will ensure the success of our economy. But crucially, a strategy to ensure that as we develop the industries of the future, so the benefits of the trade and growth they will give rise to will reach working people – not just in some parts of the country, but in every part of our country.

These are steps rooted in my Conservative political convictions. They are not a rejection of free enterprise. But rather they are the very way to restore the popular legitimacy of free enterprise and make it work for everyone.

I believe that taking such an approach is also how we resolve the Brexit impasse.

The only way to do so is to deliver on the outcome of the vote in 2016. And there is no greater regret for me than that I could not do so.

But whatever path we take must be sustainable for the long-term – so that delivering Brexit brings our country back together.

That has to mean some kind of compromise.

Some argue I should have taken the United Kingdom out of the European Union with no deal on 29th March. Some wanted a purer version of Brexit. Others to find a way of stopping it altogether.

But most people across our country had a preference for getting it done with a deal. And I believe the strength of the deal I negotiated was that it delivered on the vote of the referendum to leave the European Union, while also responding to the concerns of those who had voted to remain.

The problem was that when it came time for Parliament to ratify the deal, our politics retreated back into its binary pre-referendum positions – a winner takes all approach to leaving or remaining.

And when opinions have become polarised – and driven by ideology – it becomes incredibly hard for a compromise to become a rallying point.

The spirit of compromise in the common interest is also crucial in meeting some of the greatest global challenges of our time – from responsibly harnessing the huge potential of digital technology to tackling climate change; and from preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons to upholding and strengthening international rules in the face of hostile states.

During my premiership, the UK has led the way both domestically and internationally in seeking a new settlement which ensures the internet remains a driver of growth and opportunity – but also that internet companies respond more comprehensively to reasonable and legitimate demands that they take their wider responsibilities to society more seriously.

That is why we are legislating in the UK to create a legal duty of care on internet companies, backed up by an independent regulator with the power to enforce its decisions.

We are the first country to put forward such a comprehensive approach, but it is not enough to act alone.

Ultimately we need a realistic global approach that achieves the right balance between protecting the individual freedoms of those using the internet – while also keeping them safe from harm.

That also holds the key to further progress in the fight to protect our planet.

Here in the UK we have recently built on the 2008 Climate Change Act by becoming the first major economy to agree a landmark net zero target that will end our contribution to climate change by 2050.

Of course, there were some who wanted us not just to make that net zero commitment but to bring it forward even earlier. And there are others who still question the science of climate change or the economic costs of tackling it.

But we were able to come together to agree a target that is supported across the political spectrum, across business and civil society – and which is both ambitious and also deliverable.

Just as the nations of the world were able to come together and agree the historic Paris Agreement of 2015, a settlement which if unravelled would damage us all and our planet.

And just as we seek to protect the hard fought Paris Climate Agreement, so I also believe we must protect the similarly hard fought JCPOA – the nuclear deal with Iran, whatever its challenges.

Once again it took painstaking pragmatism and compromise to strike that deal.

Of course, there are those who fear a reduction in sanctions on a country that continues to pursue destabilising activity across the region, and we should address that activity head on.

But whether we like it or not a compromise deal remains the best way to get the outcome we all still ultimately seek – to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and to preserve the stability of the region.

Being prepared to compromise also means knowing when not to compromise – and when our values are under threat we must always be willing to stand firm. Just as we did when Russia deployed a deadly nerve agent on the streets of Salisbury, and I led international action across the world to expel more than 100 Russian intelligence officers – the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history.

We are here today at St James’ Square – the location from which Dwight Eisenhower led the planning for D-Day. And it was standing on the beaches of Normandy with other world leaders last month – remembering together all that was given in defence of our liberty and our values – that most inspired me to come here today to give this speech.

Eisenhower once wrote: “People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable…Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.”

I believe that seeking the common ground and being prepared to make compromises in order to make progress does not entail a rejection of our values and convictions by one iota, rather it is precisely the way to defend them.

Not by making promises you cannot keep, or by just telling people what you think they want to hear. But by addressing the concerns people genuinely hold and showing that co-operation not absolutism is the only way to deliver for everyone.

For the future, if we can recapture the spirit of common purpose – as I believe we must – then we can be optimistic about what together we can achieve.

We can find the common ground that will enable us to forge new, innovative global agreements on the most crucial challenges of our time – from protecting our planet to harnessing the power of technology for good.

We can renew popular support for liberal democratic values and international co-operation.

And in so doing, we can secure our freedom, our prosperity and our ability to live together peacefully now and for generations to come.

Theresa May – 2019 Speech at England Cricket Team Reception

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, in Downing Street, London on 15 July 2019.

The final was not just cricket at its best but sport at its best – courage, character, sportsmanship, drama, incredible skill and even the odd slice of luck…

All combining to create a real thriller, one of the great sporting spectacles of our time.

It was a fitting end to what has been a great tournament – and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in once again making our country a sporting showcase for the world.

The players and coaching staff.

The organisers and volunteers.

The incredible spectators from 10 nations who brought such colour and passion to England and Wales this summer.

The runners-up yesterday, New Zealand.

Real champions show their true character not just in victory but also in defeat, and I am sure everyone here agrees that their response on the field yesterday shows what Black Caps are made of, what New Zealanders are made of.

They are a credit to their team, a credit to their sport and a credit to their nation.

Then of course, there is England.

Or “World Cup-winning England”, as we can get used to saying.

You are a team that represents modern Britain – and that plays like no other side in the world.

In the group stage you responded to setbacks not by giving in but by coming back stronger than ever.

And, when the odds were against you in the biggest game of your lives, you simply and stubbornly refused to lose.

It is that determination, that character, that has made you world champions.

But more than that you have made history.

You have helped the nation fall in love with cricket once again.

And, perhaps most important of all, as we saw across the country last night and at the Oval this morning, you have inspired countless future Morgans, Rashids and Archers.

This was a record-breaking World Cup.

Yesterday we saw a final for the ages.

And here today we have a team that will be spoken of in awe for generations to come.

Thank you all once again.

On behalf of the whole country congratulations to – and I just want to say this one more time – England’s World Cup winners.

Theresa May – 2019 Speech at Positive Opportunities Reception

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, at a Positive Opportunities Reception on 15 July 2019.

Good afternoon everyone, and a very warm welcome to Downing Street.

A little while ago I received a letter from a young girl named Zahra, who lives in East London.

Zahra – who I am very pleased to say is with us here today – is still at primary school.

But in her letter she told me she is concerned about starting secondary school later this year because knife crime in her local area means she does not always feel safe when she is out and about.

And she is also worried about her teenage brother.

“I don’t want him to be another statistic,” she wrote; “I want him to feel safe”.

As you can imagine, we get quite a lot of letters here at No 10.

But it is absolutely heart-breaking to read one like that.

The most important job of any government is to make sure everyone in this country is safe and feels safe.

And if there is such violence on our streets that an 11-year-old girl is scared of going to school, or worried about her brother being in the wrong place at the wrong time – that tells me we have to do better.

So we are making more than a billion pounds of extra funding available for the police, have tightened up the law on offensive weapons, and have set up a cross-government task force dedicated to tackling serious violence – I have just come here straight from its latest meeting this afternoon.

But by the time a crime has been committed, by the time a young life has already been taken, it is already too late.

If we are going to make our streets safer, if children like Zahra are going to feel happy going to school, then we have to steer people away from gangs and violence in the first place.

Every young person – regardless of where they live or what community they come from – needs somewhere to go, something to do and good people around them.

And that is why I am delighted to be hosting you all here today.

It has been a pleasure to hear first-hand about some of the great work being done by the coaches, artists, teachers, business leaders and role models, all of you, in this room.

And, at a time when the headlines about young people are all too often bleak, it has been simply inspiring to talk to those of you who have benefited from that work.

Because what this event proves more than anything is that nothing is set in stone.

Nobody should assume that their future leads only one way, nobody should be written off as a hopeless case.

If, like John McAvoy, you can go from serving a life sentence for armed robbery to becoming one our leading Ironman triathletes…

If, like Jamal Edwards, you can shatter the expectations of your teachers, your friends, even your family by creating a multi-million pound business…

If, like the people helped by Centrepoint who are helping out today, you can go from sleeping on the streets to working at Downing Street…

…then anything is possible.

And that is not only a powerful message for young people in communities struggling with gangs and violence – it is also a reminder for everyone in politics of the difference we can make if we support those people who are offering positive activities and alternatives.

That’s why the government is putting almost £300 million into our Youth Endowment Fund and Youth Futures Foundation, making sure the money is there for groups and projects that can make a difference.

Because I do want this to be a country that works for everyone, where all of our young people – all of you – can grow up optimistic about their futures.

Where people are not held back by expectations – either their own or society’s – about what can and cannot be achieved in life.

Every child is born with potential – we just have to make sure it’s unlocked and allowed to flourish.

People here today are working hard to do just that.

So, on behalf of the whole country, I want to say thank you to all of you.

Thank you for making a difference.

Thank you for setting an example.

And thank you for making the UK a better, safer, stronger place not just for the young people here today, but for girls like Zahra, and her brother, and millions more like them right across the country.

Thank you once again for coming, thank you for everything you are doing, and enjoy the rest of the day.

Theresa May – 2019 Speech on India Day

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, on 16 July 2019.

Good afternoon everyone and thank you all for joining us today, in particular to Minister Goyal – it is a real pleasure to have you here and to have been able to speak with you.

Mansion House is an historic venue.

But from where I stand today I see the very modern face of UK-India relations.

World-leading businesses.

Cutting-edge technology.

The innovators and entrepreneurs, the thinkers and the do-ers, who are working hand-in-hand with colleagues and counterparts on the other side of the world to grow our economies and, in doing so, help all our people grow too.

Our nations are many thousands of miles apart, our cultures in many ways very different.

But for all that diversity, the UK and India have much in common.

Our countries are twin pillars of the Commonwealth.

Each is built on shared values of democracy and the rule of law.

We are equally committed to open markets, to free trade and the international order.

Both governments are dedicated to tackling the global challenges – from security to climate change – that no one nation can defeat alone.

And, of course, we both share an extraordinary love of cricket.

After what happened at Lord’s on Sunday I’d be quite happy to give you an entire speech about cricket.

But given that India’s tournament ended a little earlier than hoped for, I am sure that half the room would rather I didn’t say anything too much about the World Cup too so I’ll move on.

But those shared values, that shared outlook, make possible a strong and lasting bond between our nations.

That is why in 2019 the story of the UK and India is not a story of our complex and intertwined history, but of the flows of capital, technology and business.

Of the “living bridge” of people and ideas that make us, in the words of Prime Minister Modi, an “unbeatable combination” – both today and for the future.

And what a combination it is.

In 2018, the combined turnover of Indian companies in the UK reached almost £50 billion, more than trebling in just five years.

Indian FDI in the UK is growing faster than that from any other country, soaring by an incredible 321 per cent in just 12 months.

Bilateral trade rose by 14 per cent last year.

The British Development Finance bank, CDC Group, invests more in India than anywhere else in the world – more than 300 investments totalling over £1.3 billion and directly supporting around 350,000 jobs.

And, with the support of the UK-India Financial Partnership, our world-leading financial sectors continually exchange capital and expertise.

Venture capital firms like Pontaq and Blume are seeking out innovative start-ups in both nations.

Joint ventures such as HDFC Life and ICICI Prudential are India’s leading private sector insurers.

London-based companies like Greensill are expanding their financing platforms in India.

And, in the past three years, Indian issuers have raised over £7.5 billion of bonds on the London Stock Exchange.

It is a story of incredible success for both our nations – and both our nations are committed to ensuring that it continues.

Over the past three years I have worked closely with Prime Minister Modi to make that happen.

Together, we’ve developed an ambitious UK-India Tech Partnership, which is already creating new jobs and supporting thousands more across the UK.

Together, we’ve launched a programme of collaboration on financial services, marrying the best of British expertise with India’s global leadership in technology.

Together – just last week, in fact – we have opened a £40 million Fast-Track Start-Up Fund, supported by both the UK and Indian governments, to invest in Indian start-ups focussed on emerging technology.

And together, we’ve launched a Green Growth Equity Fund – co-investing £240 million of anchor capital to invest in green and renewable energy.

That fund is particularly important and symbolic.

Because India and the UK do not only share values – we also, as I said at this month’s G20 meeting, share a responsibility to our planet.

Last month, the British Parliament passed a law requiring us to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – the first major economy to make such a commitment.

Making a great step forward in renewable energy is the key to doing so, which is why we are proud to be joining the India-led International Solar Alliance…

Why the joint UK-India Clean Energy Centre is addressing the challenge of integrating intermittent renewable energy sources with energy storage…

And why the UK Government’s ground-breaking joint venture, UK Climate Investments, has so far made three investments in India, including £30 million for the country’s largest commercial rooftop solar developer.

There is no false choice to be made between cutting carbon emissions and raising living standards.

No contradiction in doing what is right for business and what is right for the environment.

Clean growth and economic growth can go hand-in-hand, as you can see right here in the Square Mile, where London’s unrivalled financial markets are raising huge sums to invest in a cleaner greener future for both our countries.

Over the past three years, Indian companies have raised £2 billion through green bonds listed on the LSE.

We are in the midst of an immensely productive period of economic relations between India and the UK.

And I am immensely proud of the work I have done with Prime Minister Modi over the past three years both to strengthen the ties between our nations, and to make sure that very special relationship works for all our people.

But I am nonetheless confident that the business links between our nations will continue to grow stronger and deeper, drawing us together and creating jobs and prosperity from Manipur to Manchester.

When the Indian government raises its first ever international sovereign bond later this year I hope they do so in the City of London – whose capital markets, with their unrivalled depth and liquidity, are the best in the world.

Yesterday saw the latest edition of the highly successful JETCO trade dialogue, at which representatives from both our nations discussed our approach to the removal of trade barriers in the years ahead.

And once we leave the EU, our new immigration rules will see an individual’s right to work in the UK determined not by where they were born, but by what they can bring to our nation – a boost for Indian employers who want to do business in the UK.

Such steps, along with the hard work and commitment of the people in this room, will ensure that the economic ties between our nations continue to thrive.

For many decades, the UK and India have been old friends.

Today, as we see here at Mansion house, we are increasingly working together as new partners.

So, while the months and years ahead will bring much change and many challenges, let us continue to build that relationship.

Let us support one another, bringing together people, capital and ideas to benefit the UK and India alike.

And let us turn the shared values that make our nations great into shared prosperity for all of our people.

Thank you.

Theresa May – 2019 Speech at Northwood

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, on 8 July 2019.

After I became Prime Minister almost exactly three years ago, one of my very first acts – the first time I spoke in the House of Commons, in fact – was to open the debate on renewing our continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent.

As I said in that debate, “There is no greater responsibility as Prime Minister than ensuring the safety and security of our people.”

And doing so is not something any Prime Minister can achieve without you – the brave men and women of our armed forces.

You are not just a part of British life – you are the guarantors of British life.

The foundation of our freedom.

The protectors of our democracy.

And for that, we owe you a debt of gratitude.

It is a debt that stretches back through the generations – as we were reminded last month when the wonderful veterans of D-Day returned to the beaches of Normandy 75 years after they liberated a continent.

And it is a debt that continues to this day, as I have seen every day throughout my time in Government.

I saw it in Salisbury, where specialists from the joint CBRN task force worked around the clock to decontaminate the city in the aftermath of Russia’s despicable and deadly nerve agent attack.

I saw it in Iraq, where I met some of the British troops who have trained almost 90,000 local forces in weapons maintenance, counter IED, medical and engineering skills.

I saw it in Kenya, where I witnessed British troops training their local counterparts in mine detection and bomb disposal

I saw it in Akrotiri, where I met the brave men and women of Operation Shader – who have helped destroy the territorial caliphate of Daesh, and who continue the fight against the evil it stands for.

In South Sudan, where British peacekeepers are bringing safety and stability to the world’s youngest nation.

In civil emergencies across the UK, where the military have saved lives and property from rising water, raging fire and falling snow.

In Gibraltar, where just last week the Royal Marines boarded and seized an oil tanker suspected of illegally supplying the Syrian regime.

In Somalia, where more than 500 local soldiers have now graduated from the British Security Training Centre.

In the skies above Europe, where our Typhoons scramble to see off Russian transgressors.

In the Mediterranean, where our sailors rescued migrants sent to sea in the rickety boats of people traffickers.

And on the streets of cities across the United Kingdom when, under Operation Temperer, troops from all three services kept us safe in the wake of the horrific terror attack in Manchester.

At home and abroad, by day and by night, at sea, on land, in the air and even in cyberspace…

You are always there, always ready, always serving – and all so that we in the UK might sleep safely in our beds.

In doing so you face many threats, but you do not face them alone.

It was Sir Winston Churchill who said that “There is at least one thing worse than fighting with allies – and that is to fight without them.”

And at few places is that spirit of co-operation stronger than here at Northwood, home of the NATO Allied Maritime Command.

In an age of increasing polarisation and division on the global stage, the hand-in-glove co-operation of NATO’s militaries provides a model for multinational organisations everywhere.

We saw what that looks like just last month in the 47th annual Baltops exercise.

One operation saw Royal Marines fast-roping onto a Lithuanian beach, joined by Spanish amphibious vehicles launched from an American landing ship and Romanian ground forces carried in a Polish assault craft.

Across Baltops 50 surface ships, two submarines, almost 40 aircraft and well over 8,000 personnel from 18 nations came together to show the world that, while NATO may be in its 70th year, the alliance is as strong and united as it has ever been.

While the threats we face may vary and evolve, the founding principles of NATO – that we are mightier together than alone and that an attack on one is an attack on all – remain every bit as important and relevant today as they were in 1945.

Because the military and security challenges we face in 2019 are not confined to any one nation or continent.

Terrorists, people traffickers, international criminals and state and non-state aggressors do not respect national boundaries, and nor should our response to the threats they pose.

NATO has a crucial role to play in that response – and I am immensely proud of the role the UK plays in NATO.

Proud that the UK continues to be a significant and active member of the alliance, including hosting the Maritime Command here at Northwood.

Proud that, later this year, the UK will have the honour of hosting the special summit to mark NATO’s 70th anniversary.

And proud that the UK continues to meet the NATO target of spending two per cent of GDP on defence – a pledge I fully expect the next Prime Minister to maintain, and one I would like to see many more member states meeting in the years ahead.

Vital though NATO is, it is not our sole vehicle for international military co-operation.

While the operational headquarters of the EU Naval Force may have recently left Northwood, our departure from the European Union will not mean the end of security and defence co-operation with our neighbours.

For example, RAF Chinooks from 18(B) squadron have been supporting French operations in Mali for some time now.

The mission-critical airlift capacity they provide allows French ground troops to conduct anti-terror operations that make the Sahel more stable and, ultimately, make both our nations safer.

And this morning I am pleased to announce that the operation will be extended, so this vital partnership can continue.

But of course, other militaries are not the only partners involved in the success of our armed forces.

In fact the most important partners are not in uniform at all – rather, they are the children, friends and families of the wider forces community, who do so much to support their loved ones who serve.

It is not easy being part of the forces family.

Not easy for children to move from school to school.

Not easy for partners to build new careers and new friendships every time their loved one is redeployed.

I cannot imagine how it must feel to wave goodbye to someone you care deeply about, knowing you won’t see them again for many months – or even hear from them, if they are serving out of reach beneath the waves as part of our continuous at-sea deterrent.

And none of us would wish to imagine how it feels to lose a loved one in the service of their country.

Indeed, one of the hardest tasks of my premiership was finding the words to write to a young girl who would never know her father, after he was tragically killed in Iraq.

So I want to take this opportunity to recognise the contribution that you make, and to thank each and every one of you for helping to make our armed forces the very best in the world.

And because our armed forces are the best, they deserve the best.

That is why I increased defence spending by £1.8 billion, continuing our investment in the future of warfare.

By year’s end both Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers will be at sea.

The first of the Dreadnought-class submarines is already under construction in Barrow-in-Furness.

Cutting-edge Ajax armoured fighting vehicles are rolling off the production line in Merthyr Tydfil, with the first of almost 600 entering service later this year.

RAF pilots are already patrolling the skies in state-of-the-art F-35 jets, with a total of 48 due to join the fleet by 2025.

And we are funding research into military robotics on land and at sea.

Because the United Kingdom is a top tier military nation, and a top tier military nation we will remain.

But we are not only investing in equipment.

We are also taking better care of our most important military assets – the men and women on the front line – increasing the amount we spend on specialist mental health care for armed forces personnel to £220 million over the next decade.

Because any nation’s military can acquire expensive kit.

What makes ours so special is its people – and it is people that are the reason for my visit here today.

Sadly there is only room for 100 or so of you in this hall.

But across the country and around the world, almost 200,000 men and women are serving their country in any number of ways.

Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force.

Regular and Reserve.

Long-serving soldiers, sailors and airmen coming to the end of their forces careers…

…and the rawest of recruits still finding their bunks at Catterick, Halton and HMS Raleigh.

Then there are the veterans who have served their country with distinction and deserve our lasting respect.

The civilian staff around the world who provide so much support for today’s men and women in uniform.

And of course the friends and families who make this all possible.

First as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister, I have had the privilege of working with and getting to know a great many men and women from every branch of our armed forces.

The toughest decisions I have had to make were the ones that would put you in harm’s way.

But it has been an honour to work alongside you, and to do all I can to support you.

And as I come to the end of my time in office, I am proud to finish the way I started three years ago– by standing up and thanking our fantastic armed forces for all that they do.

You are the best in the world, and I wish you all the very best for the future.

Thank you.

Theresa May – 2019 Speech on the Union

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, in Stirling, Scotland on 4 July 2019.

Twenty years on from the creation of a new devolved Parliament for Scotland and devolved assemblies for Wales and Northern Ireland…

…institutions which have strengthened our democracy and enriched our public life…

…the question of how we can secure our Union for the future is being asked with ever more urgency.

It is not hard to see why.

Here in Scotland, the independence referendum in 2014, followed in quick succession by the SNP’s success in the general election a year later, sent political shockwaves across the United Kingdom.

In Northern Ireland, after the longest sustained period of devolved government since the 1970s, the power-sharing institutions set up under the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and its successors have now sadly not functioned for over two years.

In Wales, the party which campaigns for Welsh separation from the United Kingdom this year scored its best result in a national election this century.

And the leader of the party that topped the poll in those elections in England speaks casually of the potential break-up of our Union.

All of this against the backdrop of Brexit – a profound constitutional change that is putting political and administrative strains on the Union.

When Gordon Brown recently said that he fears the Union is ‘more imperilled now than it has ever been’ he voiced the fears of many.

I care passionately about our Union. I certainly do not underestimate the scale of the challenge it faces. But I am optimistic about its future.

The Union has proved a remarkably durable and flexible relationship over the centuries – evolving to meet the needs and aspirations of the peoples of these islands.

Its strengths are substantial.

The benefits it brings to each of its constituent parts significant.

And I believe if those of us who care for it act wisely, if we draw on its great strengths and think creatively about how to build on them in the years ahead, its future can and will be a bright and prosperous one.

Now the first step is to appreciate the historical complexity and intricacy of our United Kingdom.

When we talk about ‘the Union’ we mean the modern, 21st century relationship that exists today between the historic nations of Great Britain – England, Wales and Scotland – and Northern Ireland.

But ‘the Union’ is not the result of a single event.

It has evolved over many centuries.

Legal union between England and Wales was implemented by the Tudors – a royal house with Welsh roots.

England and Wales were united in personal union with Scotland in 1603 by a Scottish royal house, the Stuarts.

Political Union was achieved under the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne, with the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain.

A century later, another Act of Union created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

And following the creation of Northern Ireland in 1921, the United Kingdom took on the form we know today.

It is clear from that potted history that when we talk about ‘the Union’ we are in fact talking about a complex network of connections stretching back over the centuries.

The economic architecture of the Union has been remarkably stable and a huge source of strength.

So much so that we can sometimes take it for granted.

We can forget that the UK’s Customs Union created the first modern industrial marketplace.

That the pound sterling has served the four nations of the Union for centuries.

And that our fully integrated internal market – with no barriers to doing business – remains the most important market for businesses across the UK. It is sometimes said that to celebrate these economic benefits of the Union while at the same time arguing that we should deliver Brexit is contradictory.

But that is to mistake the nature of the United Kingdom.

Because historical milestones and economic hardwiring are important – but they are not the true essence of our Union.

It is not just a constitutional artefact, not just a marketplace for goods.

It is a family of nations and a union of people. And the evidence of that social union is all around us.

As Prime Minister, I have seen it first-hand.

In our armed forces, where national and local identities are celebrated, but where every soldier, sailor, airman and marine shares a common loyalty.

In our diplomats, drawn from every corner of the UK, representing our shared liberal values of democracy and the rule of law internationally.

You see it in the good that UK Aid does, helping the poorest people around the world, much of it directed from the DFID HQ in East Kilbride.

In our Security Services, amongst the world’s best, working every day to keep everyone in the UK safe.

All of these public servants come together from different backgrounds to serve a common purpose – achieving more as one Team UK than they ever could separately. You see that social Union in our shared institutions – the glue that holds our Union together.

The BBC, providing bespoke services in every part of the UK, broadcasting in the different languages of the UK nations, but also sustaining a common, UK-wide conversation.

The NHS, whose core principles of high quality healthcare, free at the point of use, according to clinical need, are the definition of our solidarity as a union of people.

These are the institutional examples of the diversity and harmony of our Union.

But the most tangible demonstrations of that Union of people are the personal stories being written every day within families and friendships across the country.

At every level, there is an alchemy inherent in our Union – the achievement of something greater because our four nations worked together.

It can sometimes be hard to articulate the core tenets that underwrite that success – to transcend specific examples and get to the coherence of the whole.

Today I want to identify three core strengths which for me define our Union – and which will be its surest safeguards in the years ahead.

Its reliance on the support of its people; its respect for different identities; and the pooling and sharing of risks and rewards.

First, our Union rests on and is defined by the support of its people.

It is not held together by a rigid constitution or by trying to stifle criticisms of it.

It will endure as long as people want it to – for as long as it enjoys the popular support of the people of Scotland and Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

We showed that in 2014.

The UK and Scottish Governments came together to agree the terms of a referendum on independence.

Both sides committed to respect the result.

The then First Minister and his then deputy both asserted that it was a ‘once in a generation’ or ‘once in a lifetime’ event.

And if a majority had supported independence, the UK Government would have accepted that result – no question.

But the people of Scotland did not vote for independence.

A clear and decisive majority of ten percentage points gave the Union their backing and their decision should be respected.

So when Nicola Sturgeon requested of the UK Government in 2017 the power to legislate for a second independence referendum, just three years after that historic vote, I had no hesitation in firmly saying ‘no’. In the future, it will be for others to decide based on the prevailing circumstances how to respond to separatism.

But the principle is clear – the Union can and will only prosper if it enjoys the support of its people.

The second core strength is the respect we give within our Union for different identities.

Being together in a Union does not mean we lose our local and national identities.

We can support a football team representing one of the UK nations, and cheer on Team GB at the Olympics and feel that there is nothing incoherent about it.

Our nationalities, along with our religions, our racial heritages, our sexualities and many other factors are part of the tapestry of each individual.

You can be Welsh and Muslim and British.

You can be Glaswegian and gay and British.

You might feel more English than British. Or vice versa.

You do not have to choose. You can be both, or either, or neither.

The Union has never been about uniformity.

Scotland, as a proud and historic nation, retained its separate legal, religious and educational systems within the Union.

The Belfast Agreement guarantees the ‘birth right of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose.’

The Welsh language enjoys an equal legal status with English – fel y dylai fod “as it should be”.

Diversity is part of the deal.

That respect for multiple identities also includes respect for those who do not identify as British.

It is legitimate in a democracy for anyone to seek to change the constitutional settlement through legal means.

Ours is a Union that seeks to work for everyone – where everyone committed to democracy and the rule of law can feel at home and part of the whole.

But we must also nurture the things that bring us together – and celebrate the shared bonds and interests that unite us.

This accommodation of multiple, layered identities within a common system of values is one of the UK’s greatest assets.

It is a hallmark of what it is to be British and it is a defining strength of our Union.

The third core strength is about how we interact as a Union of people.

That we face challenges together and freely pool the resources at our disposal in order to overcome them.

We see that most clearly and movingly in the darkest times.

This year I had the honour to represent the United Kingdom at the D-Day commemorations.

What better example of success achieved by pooling our national resources to overcome a shared risk could you find?

It was a success born of shared sacrifice which ensured our very survival – and the survival of freedom and democracy for the whole world.

And it was only possible because we were a United Kingdom of four nations but one people.

But it is not just in times of war that we see that principle in action.

The broad shoulders of the world’s fifth-largest economy allowed the whole of the UK to weather the storm of the global financial crisis a decade ago.

Banks headquartered in Edinburgh and London were rescued by the Treasury – action that was only possible because of the size and strength of the whole UK economy.

The UK Government has been able to take unprecedented action to support the oil and gas sector following the decline in the international oil price – with public spending here in Scotland protected, even as North Sea tax receipts dwindled.

The UK and Welsh Governments worked in partnership to support the steel sector, ensuring the sustainability of steel production in South Wales, and keeping the iconic blast furnaces at Port Talbot open.

And it is not just about the benefits that the Union gives to its parts, but about what those parts contribute to the whole.

The great Scottish universities – some of the best in the world – which help make the UK an education powerhouse.

The engineering innovation in Cardiff, where the world’s first compound semiconductor cluster is pioneering a crucial technology of the future.

Northern Ireland’s emerging status as the world’s biggest and most beautiful TV studio – renowned for the highest quality programming, from ‘Line of Duty’ to ‘Game of Thrones.’

These are some of the brightest jewels in the United Kingdom’s crown.

Every business, every community, every family in each nation of the UK is part of that bigger whole and makes their contribution to it.

Time and again the benefits of sharing challenges and opportunities together and pooling our resources to meet them are clear.

It is baked into how our Union is governed. The Barnett formula delivers spending per head significantly higher in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales than the UK average, to reflect particular needs.

At its heart is the principle of solidarity – that we are one people. That we have a common stake in each other’s success.

That the happiness of someone in Belfast is the care and concern of someone in Bolton or Brecon or Bridge of Allan.

These core strengths provide an emotional and intellectual framework through which to understand the benefits our Union brings to all its people.

They are noble principles that define us and which we can take pride in.

And as we look to the future, and the questions it will ask of us, we can take confidence that our Union is built on rock-solid foundations.

Safeguarding our Union for the long-term will take work.

Right now, it means doing two things urgently.

First, delivering a Brexit that works for the whole United Kingdom – for its individual parts and for the whole.

And second, being much more creative and energetic in strengthening the ties that bind us and reinforcing the glue that holds our Union together.

On Brexit, the challenge is serious. Majorities of voters in England and Wales voted to leave, while majorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain.

That fact places an important responsibility on a Unionist government committed to delivering on the referendum result.

Ensuring that we leave the EU in a way that protects the interests of all parts of the UK has been one of my central priorities over the last three years – and I regret that I will soon be stepping down with that ambition as yet unfulfilled.

Leaving with a good deal, one that works for the whole UK, is the very best possible outcome and the right one to be working towards.

It means we can get on and build a good new relationship with our European friends and partners.

And it is far better than leaving without a deal – which would have undoubted consequences for our economy and for the Union.

Clearly a major barrier to my success in getting a deal agreed was the challenge posed by the UK’s land border with another EU member state.

A border which weaves its way through farms and villages, bisects hundreds of roads and lanes, and which is crossed and re-crossed by thousands of people every day.

And a border which is bound up with the complexities of an often troubled past.

At the heart of the Belfast Agreement, which enabled the people of Northern Ireland to move beyond that past into a shared future, was a compromise.

That people who identify as Irish can live in Northern Ireland but, to all intents and purposes, operate across the whole of Ireland in their day to day lives and in their business activities without any semblance of a border.

That compromise was enabled by having a seamless border.

The backstop insurance policy we agreed with the EU, which would have been activated only if we were unable to agree our new relationship within the implementation period, respected that compromise.

And the future relationship will need to respect it.

It will be for my successor to resolve that issue and I will not today seek to provide any advice on the matter.

I will simply say this.

There can and must be no false choice between honouring the solemn commitments of the Belfast Agreement and delivering on the decision of the British people in the EU referendum.

We must do both.

Brexit certainly poses a challenge for the Union – but it is one which can be met by working with the grain of the United Kingdom’s core strengths.

And in forcing us politicians to pay more attention to the dynamics of our Union, it is a challenge we can and should use as the opportunity to strengthen that Union for the long term.

The need to do so long pre-dates Brexit.

One of the lessons of the independence referendum in 2014 was that those of us who believe in our United Kingdom need to do much more to make and demonstrate the emotional case for it – and to strengthen the ties that bind it together.

As we do so, we can take confidence in our Union’s adaptability. And there is no better example of that adaptability than devolution.

Twenty years since the creation of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly it is clear that devolution is a source of strength for the UK – not a sign of its weakness.

It is the form of government best suited to our geography, our history and our future.

Stormont, Holyrood and Cardiff Bay are democratic expressions of the multiple identities that define the Union.

And devolved legislatures working alongside a United Kingdom Parliament elected by every citizen of the Union, containing representatives of every community in the Union, means the best of both worlds.

The benefit of more responsive and representative government for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, without sacrificing the strength and security that pooling and sharing risks and rewards provides.

Northern Ireland had a devolved Parliament from its inception up until the beginning of the Troubles, after which it always remained UK Government policy to see devolved government there restored.

And when devolved government in Northern Ireland was finally restored, it was after an historic agreement to end a long and painful period of conflict.

The devolution settlement brought about by the Belfast Agreement was an example for the world in uniting people behind a shared future.

And as the parties in Northern Ireland continue in talks to restore that devolution, the hope and history surrounding it should be a powerful reminder of the imperative of not letting that progress slip away.

In Great Britain, successive Governments of both parties pursued policies of administrative devolution – the creation of separate Whitehall departments for Scotland and Wales, led by cabinet Ministers – but resisted calls for legislative devolution.

There were objections to it from across the political spectrum.

Many on the left feared it would weaken the ability of a socialist government to effect economic and social change.

And, despite first making a Scottish Assembly our policy as early as 1968, many Conservatives worried that it might loosen the bonds that tie us together.

Both left and right are now fully united behind devolution.

A Labour Government created the devolved institutions in Scotland and Wales.

And Conservatives have embraced them.

Successive Conservative and Conservative-led governments since 2010 have strengthened the devolution settlements.

Holyrood has new powers over tax, welfare and more.

Cardiff Bay has tax powers and law-making powers.

In Northern Ireland we have legislated to enable Stormont to take on powers over corporation tax.

Today, the only threat to devolution comes from those parties who want to end it by breaking up the United Kingdom.

For those of us who believe in the Union, devolution is the accepted and permanent constitutional expression of the unique multinational character of our Union.

It was ironic that the UK Government’s sincere efforts to ensure that Brexit had no unintended consequences for the UK’s internal market was dismissed as a ‘power-grab’ by the SNP.

A UK Government which had enthusiastically launched and implemented the Smith and Silk Commissions – transferring sweeping powers over tax and welfare, stood accused of using Brexit as the cloak behind which to claw-back powers over food labelling and fertiliser regulations.

On one level the allegation is simply absurd.

On another, it highlights a challenge which faces the UK Government as it seeks to act in the best interests of the whole UK.

Whereas the UK Government is invested in the success of devolution, it would suit the political aspirations of the present Scottish Government for devolution to fail, or to be seen to fail.

The criticisms of the present First Minister about how our two governments interact need to be viewed in that context.

It is telling that during the discussions over legislative consent for the EU Withdrawal Bill, after intense discussions and give and take on both sides, the Welsh Government was willing to making a compromise, whereas the Scottish Government was not.

Over the last three years I have learned that while other parties can be relied on to work with the UK Government in good faith to make devolution a success, an SNP Scottish Government will only ever seek to further the agenda of separation.

That, I am afraid, is simply a fact of political life in the UK at the moment.

That fact puts an additional responsibility on the UK Government.

If we do not do all we can to realise the full benefits of the Union – no one else will.

If we do not use every policy lever within our reach to strengthen that Union – no one else will.

And if we do not make realising the full benefits of being a United Kingdom of four proud nations and one united people our priority now, then in the future it may be too late.

The answer does not lie in further constitutional change – or in reimagining what the Union is or should be.

Well intentioned suggestions that we should, for example, seek to agree a new Act of Union for the 21st century ignore the political reality.

With good will on all sides such a thing might be possible – but we do not have good will on all sides.

Many of those who advocate a federal UK are equally well-intentioned, but I believe are also in the wrong track.

England makes up over 80% of the UK population. There is no example of a federal state anywhere in the world where one of the units of the federation is so large.

The UK simply does not lend itself to federation as a sustainable constitutional model.

The only way it could realistically be achieved would be by breaking England up into artificial regional units – something I would never support and for which I detect no appetite.

Of course that is not to say that there is no appetite for devolution in England.

The UK Government has passed considerable power down to the great cities and metro-areas of England.

From Greater Manchester and the West Midlands to the Tees Valley and Bristol, there is now a new cast of powerful, directly elected local voices speaking up for their areas – voices which great cities like Glasgow and Cardiff lack.

So the answer to strengthening the Union does not lie in schemes of sweeping constitutional change, but in making better and more creative use of the powers and potential of the constitutional settlement we have.

The City and Growth Deals which the UK Government has pioneered across the United Kingdom – from Aberdeen to Swansea, Derry/Londonderry to the Borderlands – are examples of that creative thinking.

Working with the devolved administrations and local authorities as partners, they provide a vehicle for UK-wide engagement – each layer of government working together to drive better outcome for citizens.

The leadership election in my own party has encouraged a raft of suggestions for how the UK Government can play a more constructive role in realising the full benefits of the Union for all its people.

It has been a striking change at Westminster since the 2017 election that we now have a range of passionate and articulate Scottish voices across the House of Commons making constructive arguments about how to make the UK a better place. But we will need to keep up this debate and for it to be informed by creative thinking and new ideas.

Tweaking the constitution is not the answer.

The UK Government already invests significant amounts across the nations of the UK, and the Barnett Formula rightly delivers higher public spending per head in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland – so spending alone is not the answer either.

Instead we need to look afresh at how we use the levers and the resources that are to hand through a Unionist lens.

We need to work more cleverly, more creatively and more coherently as a UK Government fully committed to a modern, 21st century Union in the context of a stable and permanent devolution settlement to strengthen the glue that holds our Union together.

There have been several reviews into how devolution works. But we have never thought deeply about how we make the Union work – how we ensure that as we fully respect devolution, we do not forget the UK Government’s fundamental duty to be a government for the whole United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

That is why I have asked Andrew Dunlop to lead an independent review into the structures of the UK Government to ensure that they are set up to realise fully all the benefits of being a United Kingdom.

Lord Dunlop has a wealth of experience from his time in Government as an advisor and Minister and I look forward to reading his report.

Of course it will be for my successor to respond to his recommendations, and I am delighted that both candidates are supportive of the review.

I am confident that whoever succeeds me in 10 Downing Street will make the Union a priority.

He will build on the work of a UK Government that has made strengthening the Union an explicit priority.

The job of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland brings with it privileges and responsibilities which you only really feel once the black door closes behind you.

One of the first and greatest is the duty you owe to strengthen the Union.

To govern with the popular support on which that Union is based.

To respect the identities of every citizen of the UK – Scottish or Welsh, Northern Irish or English, British or Irish.

And to ensure that we go on facing the future together, overcoming obstacles together, and achieving more together than we ever could apart – as a Union of nations and people.

Theresa May – 2019 Statement on the G20 and Leadership of EU Institutions

Below is the text of the statement made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, in the House of Commons on 3 July 2019.

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on my final G20 and final European Council as Prime Minister.

At this G20 summit in Japan we discussed some of the biggest global challenges facing our nations, including climate change, terrorist propaganda online, risks to the global economy and rising tensions in the Gulf. These discussions were at times difficult, but in the end productive. I profoundly believe that we are stronger when we work together. With threats to global stability and trade, that principle is now more important than ever, and throughout this summit my message was on the overriding need for international co-operation and compromise. Alongside discussions with international partners on economic and security matters, I made it clear that Britain would always stand by the global rules as the best means of securing peace and prosperity for all of us. I will take the main issues in turn.

On no other issue is the need for international collaboration greater than in the threat to our countries and our people from climate change. As I arrived in Osaka last week, I was immensely proud that Britain had become the world’s first major economy to commit in law to ending our contribution to global warming by 2050. I urged other G20 countries to follow Britain’s lead and set similarly ambitious net zero targets for their own countries. Those gathered at this year’s summit are the last generation of leaders with the power to limit global warming, and I believe we have a duty to heed the call from those asking us to act now for the sake of future generations.

Taken together, the G20 countries account for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Discussions were not always easy, but 19 of the G20 members agreed to the irreversibility of the Paris climate change agreement and the importance of implementing our commitments in full. It remains a disappointment that the United States continue to opt out on such a critical global issue.

I outlined Britain’s continued determination to lead the way on climate change through our bid to host, along with Italy, COP 26 next year. And, recognising that more needs to be done to support developing countries in managing the impacts of climate change, I announced that the UK’s aid budget will be aligned with our climate change goals and used to support the transition to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Both as Prime Minister and previously as Home Secretary, I have repeatedly called for greater action to protect people from online harms and remove terrorist propaganda from the internet. In 2017, the attacks in Manchester and London showed how technology could be exploited by terrorists. Following those events, the UK took the lead and put this issue squarely on the global agenda. Through our efforts, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism was established—a body that has leveraged technology to automate the removal of propaganda online. But the horrendous attack in Christchurch reminded us that we must maintain momentum, and ensure a better co-ordinated and swifter response to make sure that terrorists are never able to broadcast their atrocities in real time. I therefore welcome the pledge by G20 leaders at this year’s summit to do ​more to build on existing efforts and stop terrorists exploiting the internet. The UK will continue to lead the way in this, including through our support of the major technology companies in developing a new crisis response mechanism.

At this summit, discussions on the global economy were held against the backdrop of current trade tensions between the United States and China. In this context, I reaffirmed Britain’s commitment to free and fair trade, open markets and the rules-based trading system as the best means to bolster prosperity and build economies that work for everyone. The UK has long argued that the rules governing global trade need urgent reform and updating to reflect the changing nature of that trade. We continue to press for action to build upon the agreement reached at last year’s summit for World Trade Organisation reform, and I believe the best way to resolve disputes is through a reformed and strengthened WTO, rather than by increasing tariffs.

This G20 was also an opportunity to discuss wider global issues with others, including Prime Minister Abe, President Erdoğan, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and United Nations Secretary-General Guterres. In my conversation with Prime Minster Abe, I paid tribute to him for hosting this G20 and thanked him for his role in strengthening the relationship between the UK and Japan—a relationship that I have every confidence will continue to grow over the coming years.

In a number of my meetings, I discussed Iran and rising tensions in the Gulf. Escalation is in no-one’s interest, and engagement is needed on all sides to find a diplomatic solution to the current situation and to counter Iran’s destabilising activity. At the same time, I was clear that the UK will continue to work intensively with our Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action partners to keep the Iran nuclear deal in place. The breach of that deal by Iran is extremely concerning, and together with France, Germany and the other signatories to the deal, we are urging Iran not to take further steps away from the agreement, and to return to compliance. The deal makes the world safer and I want to see Iran uphold its obligations.

I believe wholeheartedly in never shying away from difficult conversations when it is right to hold them. In my meeting with President Putin, I told him that there can be no normalisation of our bilateral relationship until Russia stops the irresponsible activity that threatens the UK and its allies. The use of a deadly nerve agent on the streets of our country was a despicable act, which led to the death of Dawn Sturgess. I was clear that the UK has irrefutable evidence that Russia was behind the attack, and that we want to see the two individuals responsible brought to justice. While the UK remains open to a different relationship, for that to happen the Russian Government must choose a different path.

In my discussion with UN Secretary-General Guterres, we spoke about the importance of the multilateral system and the UK’s strong support for it. I also raised concerns about the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the need to ensure a comprehensive response, as well as emphasising the critical nature of continued humanitarian assistance in Yemen.

I am proud that the UK continues to play its part in trying to provide relief in countries such as Yemen, and that we remain committed to spending 0.7% of our ​gross national income on development assistance. That commitment puts us at the forefront of addressing global challenges, so I am pleased that at this summit we announced our pledge of £1.4 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to help save lives.

Turning to the European Council, the focus of these discussions was on what are known as the EU’s top jobs—the appointments at the head of the EU’s institutions and the EU’s High Representative. As I have said before, this is primarily a matter for the remaining 27 EU member states, but while we remain a member of the EU, I also said that we would engage constructively, which we did throughout. After long and difficult discussions over the last few days, the Council voted for a package of candidates with an important balance of gender, reflecting the diversity of the European Union. The Council formally elected Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as President of the European Council. The Council also nominated German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen as candidate for President of the European Commission; Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell Fontelles as candidate for High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy; and the French managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, as candidate for president of the European Central Bank.

The Commission President will now be voted on by the European Parliament in the coming weeks. After being approved by the Commission President, the High Representative will then be voted on as part of the College of Commissioners by the European Parliament before the college is appointed by the European Council. After consultations with the European Parliament and the ECB governing council, the European Council will appoint the president of the ECB. The European Parliament will also vote on its President today. Subject to the approval of the European Parliament, this will be the first time that a woman will be made President of the European Commission, and I would like to congratulate Ursula von der Leyen on her nomination.

This was a package supported by the UK, and it is in our national interest to have constructive relationships with those who are appointed. Once we leave the European Union, we will need to agree the details of our future relationship. We will continue to share many of the same challenges as our closest neighbours, and we will need to work with them on a variety of issues that are in our joint interests. But that will now be a matter for my successor to take forward. I commend this statement to the House.

Theresa May – 2019 Speech to Business Leaders

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, in Downing Street, London on 1 July 2019.

I’m delighted to welcome you to Downing Street and to have this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done to work with government during my time as Prime Minister.

I believe that business is a force for good. And that your success is fundamental to our country’s success.

Because it is business that generates wealth and drives innovation.

It is business that pioneers the industries of the future, secures the investment on which that future depends, and creates jobs and livelihoods for families up and down our country.

And it is business that can also play a crucial role in helping to meet some of the greatest social challenges of our time from contributing to the sustainability of our planet to generating new growth and new hope in areas of our country that have been left behind for too long.

That belief in the power of business is why I have sought to do everything possible to make our country one of the most dynamic and business friendly economies in the world.

It is why I have said that post-Brexit Britain must be an unequivocally pro-business Britain.

And it is why throughout the negotiations with the European Union I sought to do everything I could to get a deal that would protect the frictionless trade on which so much of your success depends.

Because your success is not just in your interests. It is in our national interest.

This belief in the power of business is also why I sought to establish a new way of government and business working together.

For as you know better than anyone, the success of our economy will depend on how we adapt to meet the challenges of the future.

And that cannot be done by government or business acting alone. Nor by government trying to tell business what to do.

But rather by government genuinely listening to business and working hand-in-hand with you.

That is why I formed five Business Councils split by sector – where we hear your priorities and work with you to create the conditions for growth and investment that can help post-Brexit British business be the most competitive in the world.

And I would particularly like to thank those of you here who are members of these Business Councils for your time and your contribution to this initiative, which I very much hope will continue in the months and years ahead.

It is why, as the economy and technology changes, we have looked to work with you to introduce reforms to working practice and workers’ rights in the modern economy.

And in response to the independent Taylor Review we are delivering the biggest improvements in UK workers’ rights for twenty years.

We are also working with you to advance changes in corporate governance – because as you know better than anyone, the best of British business is not only about commercial success but about setting the standards globally and bringing wider benefits to the whole of our society too.

You are making these changes every day – and, indeed, just this evening I was delighted to meet the two workers from Capita who have just become the first employee board members of a major UK-listed company for many years.

This commitment to working hand-in-hand is also why we created our Modern Industrial Strategy – a strategic partnership between business and government to make the long-term decisions that will ensure the success of our businesses for generations to come.

This strategy gets the fundamentals right by investing in infrastructure at local and national level. It includes delivering the biggest ever long-term increase in R&D in our history – a 2.4% of GDP target for R&D that is not about a single parliamentary term, but rather a decade-long commitment.

It invests in equipping people with the skills they need – and the skills business needs – to succeed in an ever more competitive global economy.

It has a particular focus on the importance of place: making sure that the benefits of trade and growth reach working people – not just in some parts of the country, but in every part of our country.

And crucially it gets us on the front foot in harnessing the power of the state and the ingenuity of the private sector to solve four Grand Challenges which are enormous areas of potential for growth, jobs and investment across our whole country.

The challenge of Artificial Intelligence and data – where our Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will make the UK a global leader in helping to ensure the safe, ethical and innovative deployment of this new life changing technology.

And where our recent investment of £150 million towards the development of quantum could transform computing, imaging and communications.

The challenge of Healthy Ageing where our record investment through the NHS Long-term Plan includes a new emphasis on preventing ill-health not just treating it.

And where we are investing nearly £100 million through our Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to support the development of technologies that help people grow old independently.

The challenge of Clean Growth – where we have just become the first major economy in the world to legislate to end our contribution to global warming with a net zero target by 2050.

And the challenge of the Future of Mobility where tomorrow leaders of our great car industry are meeting here in Downing Street to discuss how we secure its long-term future as we transition to electric vehicles.

We are already leaders in the design of battery technology as a result of the £1 billion we have invested in supporting the Faraday Institution and the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

We are also going to build a high speed electric vehicle charging infrastructure nationally. And I have asked the Office for Low Emission Vehicles to lead a review on how we do this – reporting back in the Autumn.

Because electric vehicles are critical to meeting that net zero target – and in turn have the potential to create thousands of new jobs right across the country.

We cannot predict the future or guess what technological and scientific breakthroughs might lie just around the corner.

But we can observe the long-term trends that are shaping change in our world today and we can meet those challenges head on with creativity, innovation and enterprise.

Already we have more billion-dollar tech companies than anyone in Europe and a faster rate of cloud adoption by businesses than any other country.

We have recently taken over from America as the world’s top investment destination.

And I am profoundly optimistic about how much further we can go.

For in all of these areas and more – this strategic partnership between government and business is helping to prepare our economy for the future.

It is writing a new chapter in our national story.

A new chapter where together we are seizing the opportunity to lead the new industries of the future.

And a new chapter where we are ensuring the benefits of economic growth are more fairly felt in all parts of our country.

I believe it is critical that this work is sustained and deepened in the months ahead.

So today is not just about saying thank you for your partnership over these last three years.

It also about asking you to continue with my successor as Prime Minister with the same commitment and the same spirit of collaboration.

So that this unique partnership we have built together can go from strength to strength.

And so together we can harness the power of the state and the ingenuity of the private sector to deliver prosperity and opportunity for all our people – now and for generations to come.

Thank you for all you’re doing. Thank you for this partnership. Let’s continue working together.

Theresa May – 2019 Statement at the G20 Summit in Japan

Below is the text of the statement made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, in Osaka, Japan, on 29 June 2019.

I would firstly like to thank Prime Minister Abe both for hosting this summit and for his friendship over the past three years. I have no doubt that the strong relationship between the UK and Japan will continue to grow in the years ahead.

I firmly believe in the importance of international cooperation and compromise. In Osaka this week we have worked hard to bridge differences between G20 countries on some of the biggest challenges our nations face.

That has not been easy but we have made progress. I continue to believe that we are stronger when we work together.

Genuine collaboration and dialogue are particularly critical now as we confront serious threats to global stability.

The UK has never been afraid to stand up for the global rules that underpin our values and our way of life.

Over the past two days, leaders have discussed some of the most pressing challenges facing our nations.

In recent months we have heard hundreds of thousands of young people urge us – their leaders – to act on climate change before it’s too late.

I am proud that the UK has now enshrined in law our world-leading net zero commitment to reduce emissions. And I have called on other countries to raise their ambition and embrace this target.

As we have set out in Osaka, the UK remains committed to the global rules-based trade system and to trade that is fair as well as free.

And we believe that all nations must be encouraged to uphold these rules and to open their markets if we are to build economies that truly work for everyone.

The UK has consistently called for further and faster progress to reclaim the internet from those who want to destroy our values and our way of life. This means stronger action on the misuse of live-streaming to stop terrorists from broadcasting their atrocities in real time.

And I am pleased that all G20 leaders have agreed a joint statement that commits us to doing more – in partnership with industry – to protect our citizens from the spread of vile terrorist propaganda online.

With tensions rising in the Gulf we must all stand together. Escalation is in no-one’s interest. We need engagement on all sides to find a diplomatic solution to the current situation and to counter Iran’s destabilising activity.

At the same time, the UK will continue to work with our JCPoA partners to do all we can keep the Iran nuclear deal in place. We believe the deal makes the world safer and I want to see Iran uphold its obligations.

More broadly in the Middle East I have discussed with UN Secretary-General Guterres and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman the need to continue to make progress in the UN-led peace process in Yemen towards a political solution that is the only way to end the conflict.

Yesterday I told President Putin that there can only be a normalisation of our bilateral relationship if Russia stops the pattern of irresponsible activity that threatens the UK and its allies – such as the use of a deadly nerve agent on the streets of Salisbury.

We remain open to a different relationship, but for that to happen the Russian government must choose a different path.

This is my final G20 Summit as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

We have always understood that our success as a nation is tied to our collaboration with other countries and the relationships we build.

And I have no doubt that Britain will retain the same strong spirit of international cooperation and compromise that has long characterised our engagement with the rest of world.

Because this is the only way that we can protect and promote our interests and ensure the prosperity and security of our citizens for years to come.