Boris Johnson – 2019 Speech at Conservative Manifesto Launch

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.