Boris Johnson – 2019 Speech Launching General Election

Below is the text of the speech made by Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, at Downing Street, London on 6 November 2019.

Good afternoon, I’ve just been to see Her Majesty the Queen earlier on and she agreed to dissolve Parliament for an election.

I want you to know of course that I don’t want an early election.

No one much wants to have an election in December.

But we have got to the stage where we have no choice.

Because our parliament is paralyzed.

It has been stuck in a rut for three and a half years.

I am afraid our MPs are just refusing – time and again – to deliver Brexit and honour the mandate of the people.

And I can tell you I’ve got to the stage where I have been wanting to chew my own tie in frustration because in a sense we are so nearly there.

We have got a deal, oven-ready, by which we can leave the EU in just a few weeks.

It is a great deal for this country.

It delivers everything that I wanted when I campaigned for Brexit.

We can not only take back control of our money – and yes, we will be able to spend hundreds of millions every week on our priorities such as the NHS.

We take back control of our borders – with an Australian style points-based system so that we can attract the workers – from scientists to agricultural workers – that our economy actually needs.

And we can take back control of our laws so that we can do things differently and better if we choose.

From freeports to free trade deals.

From banning the cruel live shipment of animals to cutting VAT on sanitary products.

And we can leave the EU as one UK, whole and entire and perfect as we promised.

And so it has been frankly mind-boggling in the last few weeks to see how parliament first voted to approve this deal.

And then voted for delay.

And I am afraid that it is clear that if parliament had its way.

Then this country would not be leaving even on Jan 31.

And that is of course bad for democracy.

It’s disastrous for trust in politics.

Why should MPs decide that they can cancel the result of the referendum?

I am afraid I also think that this delay is now bad for the country and for the economy.

And with every week that goes by uncertainty is deterring people from hiring new staff, from buying new homes, from making new investments.

And if we can get this deal over the line.

With a sensible majority government, we certainly can.

Then we can release that pent-up flood of investment.

Hundreds of billions are waiting to pour into the UK.

And we can inject a surge of confidence into our system and we in this government can get on with delivering on the priorities of the people.

I am very proud of what we have done in the last 108 days or whatever it is, 108 days or so. The biggest programme of NHS investment for a generation.

Lifting up the funding of schools across the country – 40 new hospitals by the way….lifting up funding of schools across the country.

Putting 20,000 more police on the streets.

An infrastructure revolution we’re planning in rail and road – from electric buses to new green cycle schemes.

Gigabit broadband in every home.

And we have the confidence as one nation conservatives to make those investments not despite our belief in a strong private sector.

But precisely because we champion this enterprise economy in the UK.

And when people get up at five am to get their businesses ready.

When they risk their own money or mortgage their own homes to develop a new product or a new venture,

When they have the guts to find a new market at home or abroad.

We don’t sneer at them.

We cheer for them and do what we can to help.

Because we understand that it is only by having a dynamic free market economy that we can deliver on our programme

of uniting this country and levelling up with infrastructure, education and technology.

And it is only if you have great public services that you can have a successful market economy.

So I say come with us. That is the choice at this election.

That’s the choice. Come with us, a government that is putting billions into education – or go with Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, because that’s the only alternative, who actually want to ban OFSTED, that protects kids from bullying.

Come with us, a government that believes in high wages and is raising the living wage to £10.50 – the biggest ever increase.

Or go with a left-wing labour party that believes in high taxes for everyone – and that voted under this government against £7,800 of tax cuts on working people. That’s what they did.

Come with us, and put in a points-based system for immigration.

Or go with Labour and a totally uncontrolled and unlimited immigration system that would put huge pressure on the NHS and other services.

Come with us, a government that believes Britain should stand tall in the world.

Or go with Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party who sided with Putin when Russia ordered poisonings on the streets of Salisbury.

Come with us, get Brexit done, and take this country forward.

This is the alternative next year: spend the whole of 2020 in a horror show of yet more dither and delay.

Imagine waking up on Friday 13th December and finding Corbyn at the head of his technicolour yawn of a coalition.

And they would spend the whole of 2020 having two referendums.

One on Scotland – because he has done a deal with the Scots nationalists to assist the break up of the union if they sustain him in power.

And another referendum on Brexit, which is meant to happen in nine months time after he has renegotiated supposedly our exit and renegotiated this deal.

And what is his plan for that renegotiation? What question would be put to the public?

We don’t know. What are the options? We don’t know.

We don’t even know what side he would take, and we don’t know what would happen if the result was either for remain or for leave.

Best of three? Call it quits?

We don’t know.

What we do know is that in any scenario the dither and the drift and the delay which is increasingly damaging for our country will just continue.

And we do know that there is only one way to avoid that nightmare and that is to vote for a moderate and compassionate one nation conservative government.

And we will make this country the greatest place to live, to raise a family, to start a business, to send your kids to school.

A country where we lead the world in cutting CO2, in tackling climate change, in clean green technology.

Where we stand up for our values around the world.

A country where everybody has the opportunity to make the most of their lives and where we work as a government to give them that opportunity from the moment they are born.

And that is our mission. If I come back here with a working majority in Parliament, then I will get Parliament working again for you.

On Day 1 of the new Parliament in December, we will start getting our deal through so we can Get Brexit Done in January and unleash this country’s potential.

We’ll put uncertainty behind us — families and businesses will be able to plan.

Let’s make 2020 the year of investment and growth, not the year of two referendums.

I want to thank everyone in the building behind me and across government for all the work, the wonderful work they have done over the last three months.

I am going out now to campaign across the whole country for those values and for that programme.

I hope very much that you will support us.

Let’s get Brexit done and unleash the potential of the whole United Kingdom.

Thank you very much.