ENGLISH SPEECH | BORIS JOHNSON: First Speech as Prime Minister (English Subtitles)
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ENGLISH SPEECH | BORIS JOHNSON: First Speech as Prime Minister (English Subtitles)


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 because in the end Brexit was a fundamental decision by the British people,
that they wanted their laws made by people that they can elect and they can remove from
office and we must now respect that decision and create a new partnership with our European
friends – as warm and as close and as affectionate as possible. And the first step is to repeat unequivocally
our guarantee to the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us and I say
directly to you – thank you for your contribution to our society, thank you for your patience
and I can assure you that under this government you will get the absolute certainty of the
rights to live and remain. And next I say to our friends in Ireland,
and in Brussels and around the EU: I am convinced that we can do a deal without checks at the
Irish border, because we refuse under any circumstances to have such checks, and yet
without that anti-democratic backstop and it is of course vital at the same time that
we prepare for the remote possibility that Brussels refuses any further to negotiate
and we are forced to come out with no deal not because we want that outcome, of course
not, but because it is only common sense to prepare. And let me stress that there is a vital sense
in which those preparations cannot be wasted and that is because under any circumstances
we will need to get ready at some point in the near future to come out of the EU customs
union and out of regulatory control fully determined at last to take advantage of Brexit
because that is the course on which this country is now set with high hearts and growing confidence
we will now accelerate the work of getting ready. And the ports will be ready and the banks
will be ready and the factories will be ready and business will be ready and the hospitals
will be ready and our amazing food and farming sector will be ready and waiting to continue
selling ever more not just here but around the world. And don’t forget that in the event of a
no deal outcome we will have the extra lubrication of the 39 billion pounds and whatever deal
we do we will prepare this autumn for an economic package to boost British business and to lengthen
this country’s lead as the number one destination in this continent for overseas investment. And to all those who continue to prophesy
disaster I say yes – there will be difficulties, though I believe that with energy and application
they will be far less serious than some have claimed. But if there is one thing that has really
sapped the confidence of business over the last three years it is not the decisions we
have taken, it is our refusal to take decisions. And to all those who say we cannot be ready,
I say do not underestimate this country. Do not underestimate our powers of organisation
and our determination because we know the enormous strengths of this economy in life
sciences, in tech, in academia, in music, the arts, culture, financial services. It is here in Britain that we are using gene
therapy, for the first time, to treat the most common form of blindness, here in Britain
that we are leading the world in the battery technology that will help cut CO2 and tackle
climate change and produce green jobs for the next generation. And as we prepare for a post-Brexit future
it is time we looked not at the risks but at the opportunities that are upon us. So let us begin work now to create freeports
that will drive growth and thousands of high-skilled jobs in left behind areas, let’s start now
to liberate the UK’s extraordinary bioscience sector from anti genetic modification rules
and let’s develop the blight-resistant crops that will feed the world. Let’s get going now on our own position
navigation and timing satellite and earth observation systems – UK assets orbiting
in space with all the long term strategic and commercial benefits for this country. Let’s change the tax rules to provide extra
incentives to invest in capital and research and let’s promote the welfare of animals
that has always been so close to the hearts of the British people and yes, let’s start
now on those free trade deals because it is free trade that has done more than anything
else to lift billions out of poverty. All this and more we can do now and only now,
at this extraordinary moment in our history and after three years of unfounded self-doubt
it is time to change the record, to recover our natural and historic role as an enterprising,
outward-looking and truly global Britain, generous in temper and engaged with the world. No one in the last few centuries has succeeded
in betting against the pluck and nerve and ambition of this country. They will not succeed today. We in this government will work flat out to
give this country the leadership it deserve and that work begins now. Thank you very much.”

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