Monday, 9 Dec 2019

Boris vows to unleash Britain’s potential as he outlines ambition for UK post-Brexit

The Prime Minister warned the country would wake up to a nightmare on December 13 if Jeremy Corbyn takes power in a government propped up by Nicola Sturgeon. A Tory majority would allow the Prime Minister to release the “pent up tidal wave” of new investment that has been held back by Brexit delays. Mr Johnson said his “Blue Peter deal – here’s one I made earlier” on Brexit is ready to go and just needs a working majority to push it through.

He said the party needs just nine more seats to “deliver Brexit in January,  get parliament working for you and we unleash the potential of the whole country”.

He added: “We have to get brexit done because it is the best thing for our politics and for our psychological health and we have to get brexit done because it is also the best thing for the economy. The uncertainty has become almost unbearable people can’t make decisions, they are hanging fire, waiting to hire new staff, waiting to buy new property.”

During a visit to an electric taxi factory, Mr Johnson set out a bold vision to transform the country’s economy with a “Green, innovation and skills revolution”.

British apprentices would be given priority on public infrastructure projects and extra cash will be ploughed into further education colleges under a Conservative government, Mr Johnson said.

He set out plans for investment in clean energy, including investment in off-shore wind projects.

Every driver in England and Wales will be within 30 miles of an electric vehicle chargepoint after half a billion pound investment in  the  charging network.

Funding will double to £18 billion for research and development.

Some £800 million will be invested in a British Advanced Research Projects Agency for high-risk, high-reward research that companies might otherwise steer clear of. 

Boosting cash for schools to improve education is the “best way to stop kids getting caught up in crime,” he said.

Mr Johnson said the Conservatives plan to invest in infrastructure, education and technology would “close the opportunity gap between rich and poor” and the disparity between regions.

He said Brexit had paralysed politics for three and a half years and meant the UK economy is “still not achieving what it could”.

He told workers at the Coventry factory: “It is a story of an economy that is still not achieving what it could – it is a racehorse trying to run on three legs.

“With so much more potential waiting to be unleashed, that is … the mission of this one-nation Conservative government to unite and to level-up across the whole of the UK.

“Ensuring that … everyone has safer streets with 20,000 more police, lifting funding for every school in the country, massive investments in health so that you don’t have to wait to see your GP.

“Providing vastly better infrastructure, investing in skills that drive up productivity and drive up wages – the biggest increase in the living wage, we’ve announced, to £10.50 – so cutting the cost of living across the country.

“That is the one-nation programme on which this government is embarked.”

Business leaders welcomed the bold plan for investment in innovation and research.

Felicity Burch, CBI director of digital and innovation, said: “These are significant announcements reflecting business priorities across vital areas of the UK economy. 

“The CBI has called for greater investment for green initiatives like electric charging points and cementing the UK’s place as a world-leader in offshore wind, though increasing onshore wind is just as important.”

Mr Johnson said he made “no apologies” for repeating his “get Brexit done” mantra because failure to deliver on the result of the referendum had left the country logjamed.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is facing intense pressure not to field candidates in marginal seats ahead of the deadline today for nominations.

Mr Johnson admitted Mr Farage faced a difficult decision over whether to stand down Parliamentary hopefuls.

He said a vote for “any other party” would lead to a Labour/ SNP alliance that would lead to a re-run EU referendum and a second poll on Scottish independence.

He said: “I just want to say about Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party – it is always a very difficult thing for any party leader to withdraw candidates from an election and I understand that.

“But all I can say … for the avoidance of doubt, to repeat my central message, there is only one way to ensure that we get Brexit done – get this thing finished, get us out, do a fantastic free-trade deal – and that is to vote for us and the Conservatives.

“You vote for any other party and risk a coalition of chaos and two chaotic referendums next year.”

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