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PM statement on negotiations with the EU: 16 October 2020

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on negotiations with the EU. (16 October 2020)

Good morning,

We left the EU on January 31 and delivered on the largest democratic mandate in the history of this country.

And since then we have been in a transition period obeying EU law, paying our fees – as a non-voting member – working on the future relationship we hope to enjoy with our friends and partners from January.

And from the outset we were totally clear that we wanted nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship, based on friendship and free trade.

To judge by the latest EU summit in Brussels that won’t work for our EU partners. They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is obviously unacceptable to an independent country.

And since we have only ten weeks until the end of the transition period on January 1, I have to make a judgement about the likely outcome and to get us all ready.

And given that they have refused to negotiate seriously for much of the last few months, and given that this summit appears explicitly to rule out a Canada-style deal, I have concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s based on simple principles of global free trade.

And we can do it, because we always knew that there would be change on January 1 whatever type of relationship we had.

And so now is the time for our businesses to get ready, and for hauliers to get ready, and for travellers to get ready.

And of course we are willing to discuss the practicalities with our friends where a lot of progress has already been made, by the way, on such issues as social security, and aviation, nuclear cooperation and so on.

But for whatever reason it is clear from the summit that after 45 years of membership they are not willing – unless there is some fundamental change of approach – to offer this country the same terms as Canada.

And so with high hearts and complete confidence we will prepare to embrace the alternative.

And we will prosper mightily as an independent free trading nation, controlling our own borders, our fisheries, and setting our own laws.

And in the meantime the government will be focusing on tackling COVID and building back better so that 2021 is a year of recovery and renewal.

Thank you very much.

PM’s Commons statement 3 October 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement in the House of Commons on Brexit negotiations: 3 October 2019.

With your permission, Mr Speaker, I shall make a statement on the Government’s proposals for a new agreement with our European friends that would honour the result of the referendum and deliver Brexit on 31 October in an orderly way with a deal.

This Government’s objective has always been to leave with a deal, and these constructive and reasonable proposals show our seriousness of purpose. They do not deliver everything we would have wished. They do represent a compromise. But to remain a prisoner of existing positions is to become a cause of deadlock rather than breakthrough, so we have made a genuine attempt to bridge the chasm, to reconcile the apparently irreconcilable, and to go the extra mile as time runs short.

Our starting point is that this House promised to respect the referendum before the vote. More people voted leave than voted for any political party in our history. The referendum must be respected. Both main parties promised at the 2017 election that they would respect the referendum and that there would be no second referendum. This House voted to trigger article 50 and has voted repeatedly to leave, yet it has also voted three times against the previous withdrawal agreement and for repeated delay. So, as I have emphasised time and again, there can be no path to a deal except by reopening the withdrawal agreement and replacing the so-called backstop.

PM Statement – Priorities for the Government

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement, made on 25 July 2019, in the House of Commons on the priorities for the government.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-priorities-for-the-government-25-july-2019

Mr Speaker, I with permission, shall make a statement on the mission of this new Conservative Government.

But before I begin, I am sure the whole House will join me in paying tribute to my Rt Hon Friend the Member for Maidenhead, for all that she has given in the service of our nation. From fighting modern slavery to tackling the problems of mental ill-health, she has a great legacy on which we shall all be proud to build.

And our mission is to deliver Brexit on the 31st of October for the purpose of uniting and re-energising our great United Kingdom and making this country the greatest place on earth. And when I say the greatest place on earth, I’m conscious that some may accuse me of hyperbole. But it is useful to imagine the trajectory on which we could now be embarked.

By 2050 it is more than possible that the United Kingdom will be the greatest and most prosperous economy in Europe, at the centre of a new network of trade deals that we have pioneered.

With the road and rail investments we are making and propose to make now, the investment in broadband and 5G, our country will boast the most formidable transport and technological connectivity on the planet.

By unleashing the productive power of the whole United Kingdom, not just of London and the South East but of every corner of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we will have closed forever the productivity gap and seen to it that no town is left behind ever again; no community ever again forgotten.

Our children and grandchildren will be living longer, happier, healthier, wealthier lives.

Our United Kingdom of 2050 will no longer make any contribution whatsoever to the destruction of our precious planet brought about by carbon emissions, because we will have led the world in delivering that net zero target.

We will be the home of electric vehicles – cars, even planes, powered by British made battery technology being developed right here, right now.

We will have the freeports to revitalise our coastal communities, a bioscience sector liberated from anti genetic modification rules, blight-resistant crops that will feed the world and the satellite and earth observation systems that are the envy of the world.

We will be the seedbed for the most exciting and most dynamic business investments on the planet.

Is Brexit looking LESS likely ?

After a marathon cabinet meeting on 2 April following the failure of the latest round of indicative votes by MPs the previous day, the Prime Minister emerged and gave the following statement.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-brexit-2-april-2019

I have just come from chairing seven hours of Cabinet meetings focused on finding a route out of the current impasse – one that will deliver the Brexit the British people voted for, and allow us to move on and begin bringing our divided country back together.

I know there are some who are so fed up with delay and endless arguments that they would like to leave with No Deal next week. I have always been clear that we could make a success of No Deal in the long-term. But leaving with a deal is the best solution.

So we will need a further extension of Article 50, one that is as short as possible and which ends when we pass a deal. And we need to be clear what such an extension is for, to ensure we leave in a timely and orderly way.

This debate, this division, cannot drag on much longer. It is putting Members of Parliament and everyone else under immense pressure and it is doing damage to our politics. Despite the best efforts of MPs, the process that the House of Commons has tried to lead has not come up with an answer.

So today I am taking action to break the logjam: I am offering to sit down with the Leader of the Opposition and to try to agree a plan, that we would both stick to, to ensure that we leave the European Union and that we do so with a deal.

Any plan would have to agree the current Withdrawal Agreement, it has already been negotiated with the 27 other members, and the EU has repeatedly said that it cannot and will not be reopened. What we need to focus on is our Future Relationship with the EU.

The ideal outcome of this process would be to agree an approach on a Future Relationship that delivers on the result of the Referendum, that both the Leader of the Opposition and I could put to the House for approval, and which I could then take to next week’s European Council.

However, if we cannot agree on a single unified approach, then we would instead agree a number of options for the Future Relationship that we could put to the House in a series of votes to determine which course to pursue.

Crucially, the Government stands ready to abide by the decision of the House. But to make this process work, the Opposition would need to agree to this too.

The Government would then bring forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. We would want to agree a timetable for this Bill to ensure it is passed before 22nd May so that the United Kingdom need not take part in European Parliamentary Elections.

This is a difficult time for everyone. Passions are running high on all sides of the argument. But we can and must find the compromises that will deliver what the British people voted for. This is a decisive moment in the story of these islands. And it requires national unity to deliver the national interest.

Prime Minister statement on Brexit – 20 March 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May made a statement on Brexit from Downing Street on 20 March 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-brexit-20-march-2019

Nearly three years have passed since the public voted to leave the European Union. It was the biggest democratic exercise in our country’s history. I came to office on a promise to deliver on that verdict.

In March 2017, I triggered the Article 50 process for the UK to exit the EU – and Parliament supported it overwhelmingly.

Two years on, MPs have been unable to agree on a way to implement the UK’s withdrawal. As a result, we will now not leave on time with a deal on 29 March.

This delay is a matter of great personal regret for me. And of this I am absolutely sure: you the public have had enough.

You are tired of the infighting.

You are tired of the political games and the arcane procedural rows.

Tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit when you have real concerns about our children’s schools, our National Health Service, and knife crime.

You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side. It is now time for MPs to decide.

So today I have written to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, to request a short extension of Article 50 up to the 30 June to give MPs the time to make a final choice.

Do they want to leave the EU with a deal which delivers on the result of the referendum – that takes back control of our money, borders and laws while protecting jobs and our national security?

Do they want to leave without a deal?

Or do they not want to leave at all, causing potentially irreparable damage to public trust – not just in this generation of politicians, but to our entire democratic process?

It is high time we made a decision.

So far, Parliament has done everything possible to avoid making a choice. Motion after motion and amendment after amendment have been tabled without Parliament ever deciding what it wants. All MPs have been willing to say is what they do not want.

I passionately hope MPs will find a way to back the deal I have negotiated with the EU. A deal that delivers on the result of the referendum and is the very best deal negotiable.

I will continue to work night and day to secure the support of my colleagues, the DUP and others for this deal. But I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than 30 June.

Some argue that I am making the wrong choice, and I should ask for a longer extension to the end of the year or beyond, to give more time for politicians to argue over the way forward.

That would mean asking you to vote in European Elections, nearly three years after our country decided to leave. What kind of message would that send?

And just how bitter and divisive would that election campaign be at a time when the country desperately needs bringing back together?

Some have suggested holding a second referendum.

I don’t believe that is what you want – and it is not what I want. We asked you the question already and you gave us your answer. Now you want us to get on with it. And that is what I am determined to do.

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