Boris Johnson


First Speech as Prime Minister of England

July 24, 2019

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of England, July 24, 2019, first speech

Good afternoon

I have just been to see Her Majesty the Queen who has invited me to form a government and I have accepted

I pay tribute to the fortitude and patience of my predecessor and her deep sense of public service

but in spite of all her efforts it has become clear that there are pessimists at home and abroad

who think that after three years of indecision that this country has become a prisoner to the old

arguments of 2016

and that in this home of democracy we are incapable of honouring a basic democratic mandate

And so I am standing before you today to tell you

the British people

that those critics are wrong

The doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters – they are going to get it wrong again

The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts

because we are going to restore trust in our democracy

and we are going to fulfil the repeated promises of parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31

no ifs or buts

and we will do a new deal, a better deal that will maximise the opportunities of Brexit while allowing us to develop a new and exciting partnership with the rest of Europe

based on free trade and mutual support

I have every confidence that in 99 days’ time we will have cracked it

but you know what – we aren’t going to wait 99 days

because the British people have had enough of waiting

The time has come to act,

to take decisions

to give strong leadership and to change this country for the better

and though the Queen has just honoured me with this extraordinary office of state

my job is to serve you, the people

because if there is one point we politicians need to remember it is that the people are our bosses

My job is to make your streets safer – and we are going to begin with another 20,000 police on the streets

and we start recruiting forthwith

My job is to make sure you don’t have to wait 3 weeks to see your GP

and we start work this week with 20 new hospital upgrades, and ensuring that money for the NHS really does get to the front line

My job is to protect you or your parents or grandparents from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the costs of care

and so I am announcing now – on the steps of Downing Street – that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared

to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve

My job is to make sure your kids get a superb education

wherever they are in the country

and that’s why we have already announced that we are going to level up per pupil funding in primary and secondary schools

and that is the work that begins immediately behind that black door

and though I am today building a great team of men and women I will take personal responsibility

for the change I want to see

Never mind the backstop – the buck stops here

And I will tell you something else about my job.

It is to be Prime Minister of the whole United Kingdom

and that means uniting our country

answering at last the plea of the forgotten people

and the left behind towns

by physically and literally renewing the ties that bind us together

so that with safer streets and better education and fantastic new road and rail infrastructure and full fibre broadband

we level up across Britain

with higher wages, and a higher living wage, and higher productivity

we close the opportunity gap

giving millions of young people the chance to own their own homes

and giving business the confidence to invest across the UK

because it is time we unleashed the productive power not just of London and the South East

but of every corner of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

the awesome foursome that are incarnated in that red white and blue flag

who together are so much more than the sum of their parts

and whose brand and political personality is admired and even loved around the world

for our inventiveness, for our humour, for our universities, our scientists, our armed forces, our diplomacy

for the equalities on which we insist – whether race or gender or LGBT or the right of every girl in the world to 12 years of quality education

and for the values we stand for around the world

Everyone knows the values that flag represents

It stands for freedom and free speech and habeas corpus and the rule of law

and above all it stands for democracy

and that is why we will come out of the EU on October 31

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