Below is the text of the speech made by Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, in Telford on 24 November 2019.
Good afternoon everybody. Wonderful to see everyone here today. Thanks for coming along this afternoon
We are now as you know less than three weeks away from the most critical election of modern memory
when the stakes for this country have seldom been higher and the choice has never been starker
because in just the last few days we have heard from every other party haven’t we?
As they have launched their manifestos
and we have heard
how they would keep us stuck in the same rut
how they would consign this country to yet more delay and yet more frustration and parliamentary paralysis
and how they would refuse yet again to honour the will of the people
how they would refuse, every other party, to get Brexit done
The Lib Dems want to revoke Brexit
the Scots Nationalists want to cancel Brexit and have another referendum on Scotland as well
as for Labour – as for Labour, they will plainly give in to Nicola Sturgeon and waste the whole of next year in two more referendums, one on Scotland and one on the EU
except that Jeremy Corbyn won’t tell us whether he would even be willing to advise people to vote in favour of his own deal
He used to be indecisive – now he’s not so sure
Do we want that kind of leadership my friends? Do we want more delay? Do we want more dither and drift and deadlock and division?
Do we want 2020 to be a year of defeatism and despair?
No we don’t. We want to move forward because this country has an incredible future
and here – there it is – I believe is at least the partial blueprint for that future
Here is the route map to take us forward
because unlike any other party standing at this election
We’re going to get Brexit done
with a deal that is pre-cooked, ready to go, oven-ready as I keep saying, approved not just by our friends in the EU but by every single one of the 635 Conservative candidates standing at this election
a deal that will allow us to deliver absolutely all the opportunities of Brexit
from freeports to free trade to cutting VAT on sanitary products and improving the welfare of animals
Get Brexit done – and we restore confidence and certainty to business and families.
Get Brexit done – and we will see a pent-up tidal wave of investment into this country.
Get Brexit done – and we can focus our hearts and minds on the priorities of the British people,
because it is this one nation Tory party that is already embarked on the biggest cash boost for the NHS for a generation
and today in this manifesto we pledge 50,000 more nurses and their bursaries and 50 million more GP surgery appointments
and today we make this guarantee to the British people
that we will tackle crime with 20,000 more police officers and tougher sentencing
that we will sort out our immigration system with a points-based Australian style system
that we will invest millions more every week in science, in schools, in apprenticeships and in infrastructure and control our debt at the same time
and that we will reach net Zero by 2050 with clean energy solutions
and that we can do all these things, here’s the kicker, we can do all these things without raising our income tax, VAT or National Insurance Contributions. That’s our guarantee
and in this manifesto there is a vision for the future of this country in which we unite and level up
with infrastructure, education and technology
and it is appropriate of course that we are here in Telford
because here more than 200 years ago
the phlegethontian fires of Coalbrookdale
created the first industrial revolution
and this whole region was a giant crucible
in which colossal quantities of hydrocarbons were burned to smelt iron and steel
and turn water into steam and power
and it is an incredible thing that here once again
in the West Midlands
a new industrial revolution is taking place
not by burning coal
not by emitting CO2
but thanks to British ingenuity we can make electrons swoosh so efficiently from anode to the cathode, or possibly vice versa, but that’s the right idea.
that after decades of trying we can make electric cars
and we can make electric buses
and it won’t be long before we will be making electric or part electric planes
and we in this one nation Conservative government do not want to wait to begin this future
because we believe that after three and a half years of being held back by a broken parliament
it is time to unleash the potential of the whole country
and to forge a new Britain
and yes I am proud that we have in our national capital the greatest city on earth
but I know and every survey confirms
that genius, talent, ability, flair – all are distributed evenly throughout the UK
Opportunity is not distributed evenly
and I passionately believe that with education, infrastructure, technology
we can tackle that unfairness
we can unleash that potential and we can make those investments
precisely we one nation Conservatives because we also support a dynamic market economy
and that is why we are cutting taxes for small businesses
and why when people get up at the crack of dawn to prepare their family business
and when people take out a mortgage to fund a new venture
or when they risk everything on a new product or try to find a new market
we don’t sneer at them
we cheer for them
and that is the choice at this election
that is the choice between out and out retrograde socialism and sensible one nation conservatism
You can come with us, and have a government that backs our armed forces as a power for good around the world
or you can have Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party who has said he wants to scrap them
We support our police, putting more and more on the street, support them in fighting knife crime –
they say stop and search is inappropriate and oppressive
We want higher wages, and are raising the living wage by the biggest ever increase
Corbynomics, McDonnellnomics, means higher taxes for everyone
we stand up for the people of this country when other nations threaten us with harm
and it was quite incredible that when Russia ordered the Salisbury poisonings
Corbyn seemed actually to take the side of Moscow
Above all, and here’s the most important difference we face in the next few days
we will get Brexit done, we will end the acrimony and the chaos
they want to rip up our deal – and negotiate a new one
but we don’t yet know of a single Labour MP or indeed any other MP who would support it
in fact we don’t know if anyone believes in Mr Corbyn’s new deal apart from Mr Corbyn – and not even he believes in it
can you imagine the negotiations that would take place if a Corbyn-Sturgeon were to come in
What on earth are they supposed to think in Brussels?
Bonjour monsieur Corbyn comment allez vous? tell us about this that deal you want…
what do you mean you don’t really want it? What do you mean you don’t really believe in it or want to advocate it? Who does believe in it?
Not Monsieur McDonnell? not Monsieur Starmer? not Madame Abbott??
Then who does believe in it??
it would be farcical, it would be comical, if the consequences of that approach were not so disastrous for this country and for our prospects next year
Let’s give that madness a miss
I want you to imagine what the country could be like in just 10 years
if we can get a working majority on the 12th of December
I want you to look forward to a Britain where the streets are safer, where the air is cleaner, where we have built 40 new hospitals as a direct result of the decisions taken in the last 3 months
a Britain where the ten year olds are not only doing better at reading and writing and maths but doing better across the whole country
and where in ten years time scientists are starting to reap the huge rewards from our plans to double spending on for research
from AI to the gigafactory for batteries that we will inaugurate
to the new space ports in Cornwall and Scotland that will send British made satellites in to the heavens and drive one of our most exciting industries.
a Britain where we are uniting and levelling up
where great new infrastructure is helping to rebalance the economy, delivering Northern Powerhouse rail AND a metro style system for the whole of the west midlands
a Britain where left behind towns have recovered their vibrancy and commercial life and optimism, with shops and businesses made possible by better transport and fantastic broadband
and then in turn where better infrastructure is allowing us to build thousands of superb new homes, hundreds of thousands, on brownfield sites – giving young people the prospect of home ownership that they currently don’t have
that every survey shows is what people in this country wants
a Britain where the landscape is made more beautiful by the planting of millions of trees that also help us to deal with climate change
and in ten years time I confidently prophesy that we people will be passionately proud of their Scottish identity, and their Welsh and Northern Irish, and yes their English identity. And that will be a great thing.
But we will also all be proud strong and whole United Kingdom, more united than ever, flying that red white and blue Union flag that represents the best of our values, from democracy and the rule of law
from free trade to free speech to the freedom to love whomsoever you choose
from championing 12 years of quality education for every girl in the world
to protecting the planet’s wildlife from the tragedy of habitat loss and extinction
and a Britain that is able to lead the world – as we do – in tackling climate change and to reduce our CO2 to net zero by 2050 not because we hate capitalism, and want to destroy it, and want pointlessly to make an enemy of enterprise
but because the private sector makes the brilliant technical breakthroughs that enable us to cut CO2
AND pay for great public services and create great high skilled jobs
And that is the vision we are offering – to make this country the greatest place to live, to breathe, to be, to raise kids, to start a business
the greatest place on earth
and I propose that we get on with it now
I don’t want to waste 2020 in two more referendums
I want it to be an exciting and productive year, a year of prosperity and growth
Do you want to wake up on Friday 13th December and find a nightmare on Downing Street, a Corbyn-Sturgeon coalition of chaos?
I say let’s go carbon neutral by 2050 and Corbyn neutral by Christmas!
Let’s go for sensible moderate but tax cutting, one nation Conservative government, and take this country forward.