David Cameron: Speech to Conservative Party Conference 2014
I am so proud to stand here today as Prime Minister of four nations in one United Kingdom.
I was always clear about why we called that referendum.
Duck the fight – and our union could have been taken apart bit by bit.
Take it on – and we had the chance to settle the question.
This Party has always confronted the big issues for the sake of our country.
…England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland…
…we are one people in one union and everyone here can be proud of that.
And we can all agree, during that campaign a new star – a new Conservative star – was born…
…someone who’s going to take our message to every corner of Scotland: our very own Ruth Davidson.
The lead-up to that referendum was the most nerve-wracking week of my life.
But I can tell you the best moment of my year.
It was June 6th, the 70th anniversary of D Day.
Sam and I were in Bayeux, in France, with my constituent, Patrick Churchill…
…no relation to the great man – but a great man himself.
Patrick is 91 years old – and 70 years ago, he was there fighting fascism, helping to liberate that town.
I’ll never forget the tears in his eyes as he talked about the comrades he left behind..
…or the pride they all felt in the job they had done.
As we walked along the streets he pointed out where he had driven his tank…
…and all along the roadside there were French children waving flags – Union Jacks – the grandchildren of the people he had liberated.
Patrick’s here today with his wife Karin – and I know, like me, you’ll want to give them the warmest welcome.
When people have seen our flag – in some of the most desperate times in history – they have known what it stands for.
Freedom. Justice. Standing up for what is right.
They have known this isn’t any old country.
This is a special country.
June 6th this summer. Normandy.
I was so proud of Great Britain that day.
And here, today, I want to set out how in this generation, we can build a country whose future we can all be proud of.
How we can secure a better future for all.
How we can build a Britain that everyone is proud to call home.
The heirs to those who fought on the beaches of Northern France are those fighting in Afghanistan today.
For thirteen years, young men and women have been serving our country there.
This year, the last of our combat troops come home – and I know everyone here will want to show how grateful and how proud we are of everyone who served.
But the end of the Afghan mission does not mean the end of the threat.
The threat is Islamist extremist terrorism – and it has found a new, hellish crucible – with ISIL, in Iraq and Syria.
These people are evil, pure and simple.
They kill children; rape women; threaten non-believers with genocide; behead journalists and aid workers.
Some people seem to think we can opt out of this. We can’t.
As I speak, British servicemen and women are flying in the skies over Iraq.
They saw action yesterday.
And there will be troops on the frontline – but they will be Iraqis, Kurds, and Syrians…
…fighting for the safe and democratic future they deserve.
We are acting in partnership with a range of countries – including those from the region.
Because let’s be clear:
There is no “walk on by” option.
Unless we deal with ISIL, they will deal with us, bringing terror and murder to our streets.
As always with this Party, we will do whatever it takes to keep our country safe.
And to those who have had all the advantages of being brought up in Britain, but who want to go and fight for ISIL – let me say this.
If you try to travel to Syria or Iraq, we will use everything at our disposal to stop you:
Taking away your passport; prosecuting, convicting, imprisoning you…
…and if you’re there already – even preventing you from coming back.
You have declared your allegiance.
You are an enemy of the UK – and you should expect to be treated as such.
When it comes to keeping Britain safe, I had one man by my side for four years.
When he was a teenager, he didn’t only address the Tory party conference…
…he read Hansard in bed…
…and had a record collection consisting of one album by Dire Straits and dozens of speeches by Winston Churchill.
All I can say is this: that boy became a fine Parliamentarian…
…a brilliant Foreign Secretary…
…our greatest living Yorkshireman…
…and someone to whom I owe an enormous debt of gratitude: William Hague.
William, there’s one more task I want you to carry out: bringing fairness to our constitution.
During that referendum campaign we made a vow to the Scottish people that they will get more powers – and we will keep that vow.
But here’s my vow to the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
I know the system is unfair.
I know that you are asking: if Scotland can vote separately on things like tax, spending and welfare….
….why can’t England, Wales and Northern Ireland do the same?
I know you want this answered.
So this is my vow: English votes for English laws – the Conservatives will deliver it.
We’ve delivered a lot these past four years…
…but we’ve had to do it all in a coalition government.
Believe me: coalition was not what I wanted to do; it’s what I had to do.
And I know what I want next.
To be back here in October 2015 delivering Conservative policies…
…based on Conservative values…
…leading a majority Conservative Government.
So where do we want to take our country?
Where do I want to take our country?
During these four years, I hope that the British people have come to know me a little.
I’m not a complicated man. I believe in some simple things.
Families come first. They are the way you make a nation strong from the inside out.
I care deeply about those who struggle to get by…
…but I believe the best thing to do is help them stand on their own two feet – and no, that’s not saying “you’re on your own”, but “we are on your side, helping you be all you can.”
And I believe in something for something; not something for nothing.
Those who do the right thing, put the effort in, who work and build communities – these are the people who should be rewarded.
All of this is underpinned by a deep patriotism.
I love this country – and my goal is this:
To make Britain a country that everyone is proud to call home.
That doesn’t just mean having the fastest-growing economy, or climbing some international league table.
I didn’t come into politics to make the lines on the graphs go in the right direction.
I want to help you live a better life.
And it comes back to those things I believe.
A Britain that everyone is proud to call home is a Britain where hard work is really rewarded.
Not a free-for-all, but a chance for all…
…the chance of a job, a home, a good start in life…
…whoever you are, wherever you are from.
And by the way – you never pull one person up by pulling another one down.
So this Party doesn’t do the politics of envy and class warfare…
…we believe in aspiration and helping people get on in life – and what’s more, we’re proud of it.
The past four years have been about laying the foundations for that Britain.
The next five will be about finishing the job.
Put another way – if our economic plan for the past four years has been about our country – and saving it from economic ruin…
…our plan for the next five years will be about you, and your family – and helping you get on.
But Conservatives know this.
Nothing comes easy.
There’s no reward without effort; no wealth without work; no success without sacrifice…
…and we credit the British people with knowing these things too.
Other parties preach to you about a Brave New World…
…we understand you have to start with the real world and make it better.
So let other politicians stand on stages like this and promise an easy life. Not me.
I am here today to set out our Conservative commitment for the next five years.
If you want to provide for yourself and your family, you’ll have the security of a job…
…but only if we stick to our long-term economic plan.
If you work hard, we will cut your taxes…
…but only if we keep on cutting the deficit, so we can afford to do that.
For those wanting to buy a home, yes – we will help you get on that housing ladder…
…but only if we take on the vested interests, and build more homes – however hard that is.
We will make sure your children get a great education; the best education…
…but only if we keep taking on everyone who gets in the way of high standards.
For those retiring, we will make sure you get a decent pension; and real rewards for a life of work…
…but only if we as a country accept we all have to work a bit longer and save a bit more.
It’s pretty simple really: a good job, a nice home, more money at the end of the month, a decent education for your children, a safe and secure retirement.
A country where if you put in, you get out.
A Britain everyone is proud to call home.
And a real long-term plan to get there.
It starts with more decent jobs.
And look how far we’ve come.
Today there are 1 million 800 thousand more jobs in our country than there were in 2010.
We are creating more jobs here in Britain than in the whole of Europe put together.
1.8 million jobs.
You know – when Britain is getting back to work, it can only mean one thing…
…the Conservatives are back in Government.
So here’s our commitment for the next five years.
What the economists would call: the highest employment rate of any major economy.
What I call: full employment in Britain.
Just think of what that would mean.
Those who can work, able to work…
…standing on their own two feet, looking at their children and thinking “I am providing for you.”
We can get there – but only if we stick to our plan.
Companies are coming from all over the world to invest and create jobs here.
That’s not happened by accident.
It’s because they see a Government rolling out the red carpet for them, cutting their red tape, cutting their taxes.
So here is a commitment: with the next Conservative Government – we will always have the most competitive corporate taxes in the G20…
…lower than Germany, lower than Japan, lower than the United States.
But George said something really important in that brilliant speech on Monday.
A message to those global companies:
We have cut your taxes – now you must pay what you owe.
We must stick to the plan on welfare too.
With us, if you’re out of work, you will get unemployment benefit…
…but only if you go to the Job Centre, update your CV, attend interviews and accept the work you’re offered.
As I said: no more something-for-nothing.
And look at the results: 800,000 fewer people on the main out-of-work benefits.
In the next five years we’re going to go further.
You heard it this week – we won’t just aim to lower youth unemployment; we aim to abolish it.
We’ve made clear decisions.
We will reduce the benefits cap, and we will say to those 21 and under: no longer will you have the option of leaving school and going straight into a life on benefits.
You must earn or learn.
And we will help by funding three million Apprenticeships.
Let’s say to our young people: a life on welfare is no life at all…
…instead: here’s some hope; here’s a chance to get on and make something of yourself.
What do our opponents have to say?
They have opposed every change to welfare we’ve made – and I expect they’ll oppose this too.
They sit there pontificating about poverty – yet they’re the ones who left a generation to rot on welfare.
And while we’re at it: let’s compare records.
Under Labour, unemployment rose. With us, unemployment is falling faster than at any time for 25 years.
Under Labour, inequality widened. With us, it’s narrowed.
Those are the facts.
So let’s say it loudly and proudly…
…with Britain getting off welfare and back to work…
…the real party of compassion and social justice today is here in this hall – the Conservative Party.
It’s not just the job numbers that matter – it is the reality of working life for people in our country…
…especially the lowest-paid.
Anyone should be free to take on different jobs so they can get on.
But when companies employ staff on zero hours contracts and then stop them from getting work elsewhere, that’s not a free market – it is a fixed market.
In a Britain that everyone is proud to call home, people are employed, they are not used.
Those exclusive zero hours contracts that left people unable to build decent lives for themselves – we will scrap them.
But there’s still more injustice when it comes to work, and it’s even more shocking.
Criminal gangs trafficking people halfway around the world and making them work in the most disgusting conditions.
I’ve been to see these – houses on terraced streets, built for families of four, cramming in 15 people like animals.
To those crime lords who think they can get away with it, I say…
No: not in this country; not with this party.
…with our Modern Slavery Bill we’re coming after you and we’re going to put a stop to it once and for all.
Once you have a job, I want you to take home more of your own money.
If you put in, you should get out – not hand so much of it to the taxman.
That’s why these past four years, despite everything, I’ve made sure we provide some relief to taxpayers in our country – especially the poorest.
No income tax until you earn £10,000 a year – and from next April, £10,500 a year.
Three million people taken out of income tax altogether.
A tax cut for 25 million more.
And our commitment to you for the next five years: we want to cut more of your taxes.
But we can only do that if we keep on cutting the deficit.
It’s common sense – tax cuts need to be paid for.
So here’s our plan.
We are going to balance the books by 2018, and start putting aside money for the future.
To do it we’ll need to find £25 billion worth of savings in the first two years of the next Parliament.
That’s a lot of money, but it’s doable.
£25 billion is actually just three per cent of what government spends each year.
It is a quarter of the savings we have found in this Parliament.
I am confident we will find the savings we need through spending cuts alone.
We will see the job through and get back into the black.
And as we do that, I am clear about something else.
We need tax cuts for hardworking people.
And here and now, I have a specific commitment.
Today, the minimum wage reaches £6.50 an hour, and before long we’ll reach our next goal of £7.
I can tell you now that a future Conservative Government will raise the tax-free personal allowance from £10,500 to £12,500.
That will take 1 million more of the lowest paid workers out of income tax – and will give a tax cut to 30 million more.
So with us, if you work 30 hours a week on minimum wage, you will pay no income tax at all. Nothing. Zero. Zilch.
Lower taxes for our hardworking people…
…that’s what I call a Britain that everyone is proud to call home.
But we will do something else.
The 40p tax rate was only supposed to be paid by the most well-off people in our country…
…but in the past couple of decades, far too many have been dragged into it: teachers, police officers.
So let me tell you this today.
I want to take action that’s long overdue, and bring back some fairness to tax.
With a Conservative government, we will raise the threshold at which people pay the 40p rate.
It’s currently £41,900…
…in the next Parliament we will raise it to £50,000.
So here’s our commitment to the British people:
No income tax if you are on Minimum Wage.
A 12 and a half thousand pound tax-free personal allowance for millions of hardworking people.
And you only pay 40p tax when you earn £50,000.
So let the message go out:
With the Conservatives, if you work hard and do the right thing…
…we say you should keep more of your own money to spend as you choose.
That’s what our long-term economic plan means for you.
And while I’m on the subject of the big economic questions our country faces - on spending, on tax – did you hear Ed Miliband last week?
He spoke for over an hour, but didn’t mention the deficit once. Not once.
He said he ‘forgot’ to mention it.
Ed – people forget their car keys, school kids sometimes forget their homework…
…but if you want to be Prime Minister of this country, you cannot forget the biggest challenge we face.
A few weeks ago, Ed Balls said that in thirteen years of Government, Labour had made ‘some mistakes’.
You were the people who left Britain with the biggest peacetime deficit in history…
…who gave us the deepest recession since the war…
…who destroyed our pensions system, bust our banking system…
…who left a million young people out of work, five million on out-of-work benefits - and hundreds of billions of debt.
Labour were just one big mistake.
And five years on, they still want to spend more, borrow more, tax more.
It’s the same old Labour, and you know what?
They say that madness is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.
Well I say: madness is voting for this high spending, high taxing, deficit ballooning shower and expecting anything other than economic disaster.
In a country that everyone is proud to call home, you should be able to buy a home – if you’re willing to save.
It shouldn’t be some impossible dream.
But we inherited a situation where it was.
Young people watched Location, Location, Location not as a reality show – but as fantasy.
We couldn’t solve this housing crisis without some difficult decisions.
The planning system was stuck in the mud – so we reformed it…
…and last year, nearly a quarter of a million houses were given planning permission.
Young people needed massive deposits they just couldn’t afford…
…so we brought in Help to Buy.
Of course there were those who criticised it…
…usually speaking from the comfort of the home they’d bought years ago.
But let’s see what actually happened.
They said Help to Buy would just help people in London…
…but 94 per cent of buyers live outside the capital.
They said it would help people with houses already…
…but four-fifths are first-time buyers.
They said it would cause a housing bubble…
…but as the Bank of England has said, it hasn’t.
So here’s our renewed commitment to first-time buyers: if you’re prepared to work and save, we will help you get a place of your own.
This conference we have announced a landmark new policy.
It’s called Starter Homes.
We’re going to build 100,000 new homes – and they’ll be twenty percent cheaper than normal.
But here’s the crucial part.
Buy-to-let landlords won’t be able to snap them up.
Wealthy foreigners won’t be able to buy them.
Just first-time buyers under the age of 40.
Homes built for you, homes made for you – the Conservative Party, once again, the party of home ownership in our country.
In a Britain that everyone is proud to call home, you wouldn’t be able to tell a child’s GCSEs by their postcode or what their parents do.
There must be a great education for every child.
A month ago I had this wonderful moment.
Florence is now 4 and just starting school, so for the first time, all three of my children are at the same primary school.
It was such a joy to take them to school together; Florence clinging on for dear life until she saw a new friend and rushed off to her classroom.
It’s hard to describe what a relief it is as a parent to find a decent school for your child.
It shouldn’t be a lottery.
What we have in our state primary in London I want for every child in the country.
And we’re getting there.
More children in good or outstanding schools.
More children studying science, languages and history.
A new curriculum – with five year olds learning fractions; eleven years olds coding computers.
And the biggest change is the culture.
Teachers who feel like leaders again.
Who say: this is our school, we’re proud of it, the children must behave in it, we will not tolerate failure in it.
We’ve come so far - and make no mistake – the biggest risk to all this is Labour.
You know what drives me the most mad about them?
Tristram Hunt, their Shadow Education Secretary – like me – had one of the best educations money can buy.
But guess what? He won’t allow it for your children.
He went to an independent school that wasn’t set up by a local authority…
…but no, he doesn’t want charities and parents to set up schools for your children.
He had the benefit of world-class teachers who happened not to have a government certificate…
…but no, he wants to stop people like that from teaching your children.
I tell you – Tristram Hunt and I might both have been educated at some of the best schools in our country.
But here’s the difference:
You, Tristram – like the rest of the Labour Party – want to restrict those advantages…
…I want to spread them to every child in Britain.
We know Labour’s real problem on education.
Every move they make, they’ve got to take their cue from the unions.
That’s who they really represent. The unions.
Well, I’ve got a bit of news for you.
It’s not something we’ve ever said before.
We in this party are a trade union too.
I’ll tell you who we represent.
This party is the union for hardworking parents…
…the father who reads his children stories at night because he wants them to learn…
…the mother who works all the hours God sends to give her children the best start.
This party is the trade union for children from the poorest estates and the most chaotic homes.
This party is the union for the young woman who wants an Apprenticeship…
…for the teenagers who want to make something of their lives…
…this is who we represent, these are the people we’re fighting for…
…and that’s why on education we won’t let Labour drag us back to square one – we’re going to finish what we have begun.
A real education isn’t just about exams.
Our young people must know this is a country where if you put in, you will get out.
Now I’ve got in trouble for talking about Twitter before, but let me put it like this.
I want a country where young people aren’t endlessly thinking: ‘what can I say in 140 characters?’ but ‘what does my character say about me?’
That’s why I’m so proud of National Citizen Service.
Every summer, thousands of young people are coming together to volunteer and serve their community.
We started this.
People come up to me on the street and say all sorts of things…
…believe me – all sorts of things…
…but one thing I hear a lot is parents saying “thank you for what this has done for my child.”
I want this to become a rite of passage for all teenagers in our country.
So I can tell you this: the next Conservative Government will guarantee a place on National Citizen Service for every teenager in our country.
That rule: that if you put in, you should get out…
…more than anywhere it should apply to those who want dignity and security in retirement.
But for years it didn’t.
There were three great wrongs.
Wrong number one: the Pension Credit that was basically a means test – the more you saved, the less you got.
Wrong number two: compulsory annuities that meant you couldn’t spend your own money as you wished.
Wrong number three: when people passed away, the pension they had saved was taxed at 55 per cent before it went to their family.
Three wrongs – and we are putting them right.
The means test – it’s going.
In its place: a new single-tier pension of £142 a week…
…every penny you have saved during your working life, you will keep.
Those compulsory annuities – scrapped…
…giving you complete control over your private pension.
As for that 55 per cent tax on your pension?
You heard it this week: we’ve cut it to zero per cent.
Conservative values in action.
When it comes to our elderly, one thing matters above everything.
Knowing the NHS is there for you.
From Labour last week, we heard the same old rubbish about the Conservatives and the NHS.
Spreading complete and utter lies.
I just think: how dare you.
It was the Labour Party who gave us the scandal at Mid Staffs…
…elderly people begging for water and dying of neglect.
And for me, this is personal.
I am someone who has relied on the NHS – whose family knows more than most how important it is…
…who knows what it’s like to go to hospital night after night with a child in your arms…
…knowing that when you get there, you have people who will care for that child and love that child like their own.
How dare they suggest I would ever put that at risk for other people’s children?…
…how dare they frighten those who are relying on the NHS right now?
It might be the only thing that gets a cheer at their Party conference but it is frankly pathetic.
We in this party can be proud of what we’ve done.
We came in and protected the NHS budget.
Funding six and a half thousand more doctors – 3300 more nurses…
…a Cancer Drugs Fund to save lives…
…more people hearing those two magic words: “all clear”.
And think of the amazing things around the corner.
From the country that unravelled DNA, we are now mapping it for each individual…
…it’s called the genome, and I’ve got a model of one of the first ones on my desk in Downing Street.
Cracking this code could mean curing rare genetic diseases and saving lives.
Our NHS is leading the world on this incredible technology.
I understand very personally the difference it could make.
When you have a child who’s so ill and the doctors can’t work out what he’s got or why - you’d give anything to know.
The investment we’re making will mean that more parents have those answers - and hopefully the cures that go with them.
And let’s be clear: all this is only possible because we have managed our economy responsibly.
That is why I can tell you this: we will do it again.
The next Conservative Government will protect the NHS budget and continue to invest more.
Because we know this truth…
… something Labour will never understand – and we will never forget…
…you can only have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy.
A Britain that everyone is proud to call home.
A place where reward follows effort; where if you put in, you get out.
But it also means a country that is strong in the world - in control of its own destiny…
…and yes – that includes controlling immigration.
To me, this is about working on all fronts.
It’s about getting our own people fit to work.
Fixing welfare – so a life on the dole is not an option.
Fixing education – so we turn out young people with skills to do the jobs we are creating.
And yes – we need controlled borders and an immigration system that puts the British people first.
That’s why we’ve capped economic migration from outside the EU…
…shut down 700 bogus colleges – that were basically visa factories…
…kicked out people who don’t belong here, like Abu Qatada…
…and let’s hear it for the woman who made it happen: our crime-busting Home Secretary, Theresa May.
But we know the bigger issue today is migration from within the EU.
Immediate access to our welfare system. Paying benefits to families back home.
Employment agencies signing people up from overseas and not recruiting here.
Numbers that have increased faster than we in this country wanted…
…at a level that was too much for our communities, for our labour markets.
All of this has to change – and it will be at the very heart of my renegotiation strategy for Europe.
Britain, I know you want this sorted so I will go to Brussels, I will not take no for an answer and when it comes to free movement – I will get what Britain needs.
Anyone who thinks I can’t or won’t deliver this – judge me by my record.
I’m the first Prime Minister to veto a Treaty…
…the first Prime Minister to cut the European budget…
…and yes I pulled us out of those European bail-out schemes as well.
Around that table in Europe they know I say what I mean, and mean what I say.
So we’re going to go in as a country, get our powers back, fight for our national interest…
…and yes – we’ll put it to a referendum…
…in or out – it will be your choice…
…and let the message go out from this hall: it is only with a Conservative Government that you will get that choice.
Of course, it’s not just the European Union that needs sorting out – it’s the European Court of Human Rights.
When that charter was written, in the aftermath of the Second World War, it set out the basic rights we should respect.
But since then, interpretations of that charter have led to a whole lot of things that are frankly wrong.
Rulings to stop us deporting suspected terrorists.
The suggestion that you’ve got to apply the human rights convention even on the battle-fields of Helmand.
And now – they want to give prisoners the vote.
I’m sorry, I just don’t agree.
Our Parliament – the British Parliament – decided they shouldn’t have that right.
This is the country that wrote Magna Carta…
…the country that time and again has stood up for human rights…
…whether liberating Europe from fascism or leading the charge today against sexual violence in war.
Let me put this very clearly:
We do not require instruction on this from judges in Strasbourg.
So at long last, with a Conservative Government after the next election, this country will have a new British Bill of Rights…
…to be passed in our Parliament…
…rooted in our values…
…and as for Labour’s Human Rights Act?
We will scrap it, once and for all.
So that’s what we offer: a Britain that everyone is proud to call home.
And a very clear plan to get there.
Over the next five years we will deliver the following things:
3 million Apprenticeships.
The most competitive corporate taxes in the G20.
Eliminating the budget deficit through spending cuts, not tax rises.
Building 100,000 new Starter Homes.
Letting you pass on your pension tax-free.
Ring-fencing NHS spending so not a penny is cut.
Renegotiating in Europe.
Delivering that in-out referendum.
Scrapping the Human Rights Act.
No income tax until you earn £12,500.
No 40p tax rate until you earn £50,000.
If you want those things, vote for me.
If you don’t, vote for the other guy.
And let’s be clear.
This is a straight fight.
It doesn’t matter whether Parliament is hung, drawn or quartered, there is only one real choice.
The Conservatives or Labour.
Me in Downing Street, or Ed Miliband in Downing Street.
If you vote UKIP – that’s really a vote for Labour.
Here’s a thought…
…on 7th May you could go to bed with Nigel Farage, and wake up with Ed Miliband.
So this is the big question for that election.
On the things that matter in your life, who do you really trust?
When it comes to your job…
…do you trust Labour – who wrecked our economy – or the Conservatives, who have made this one of the fastest-growing economies in the West?
When it comes to Britain’s future, who do you trust?
Labour – the party of something-for-nothing, and human wrongs under the banner of human rights…
…or the Conservatives – who believe in something for something, and reward for hard work?
Who do you trust?
…the party of big debt; big spending, big borrowing…
…or the party – our Party – of the first pay cheque, the first chance, the first home…
…the one that is delivering more security, more opportunity, more hope …
…the one that is making this country great again…
…yes, our party, the Conservative Party.
We’re making Britain proud again.
Look what we are showing the world.
Not just a country that is paying down its debts…
…and going from the deepest recession since the war to the fastest-growing major advanced economy in the world…
…but at the same time: a country that has kept its promises to the poorest in the world…
…that is leading not following on climate change…
…and that’s just saved our union in one of the greatest shows of democracy the world has ever seen.
We’re making Britain proud again.
Our exports to China doubling…
…our car industry booming…
…our aerospace expanding…
…our manufacturing growing… we’re making Britain proud again.
Car engines – not imported from Germany, but built down the road in Wolverhampton.
New oil rigs – not made in China, but built on the Tyne.
Record levels of employment…
…record numbers of apprenticeships…
…Britain regaining its purpose, its pride and its confidence.
We’re at a moment where all the hard work is finally paying off…
…and the light is coming up after some long dark days.
Go back now and we’ll lose all we’ve done…
…falling back into the shadows when we could be striding into the sun.
That’s the question next May.
Do you want to go back to square one – or finish what we’ve begun?
I don’t claim to be a perfect leader.
But I am your public servant, standing here, wanting to make our country so much better - for your children and mine.
I love this country, and I will do my duty by it.
We’ve got the track record, the right team…
…to take this plan for our country and turn it into a plan for you.
I think of the millions of people going out to work, wiping the ice off the windscreen on a winter’s morning…
…raising their children as well they can, working as hard as they can…
…doing it for a better future, to make a good life for them and their families.
That is the British spirit – there in our ordinary days as well as our finest hours.
This is a great country and we can be greater still.
Because history is not written for us, but by us, in the decisions we make today…
…and that starts next May.
So Britain: what’s it going to be?
I say: let’s not go back to square one.
Let’s finish what we have begun.
Let’s build a Britain we are proud to call home…
…for you, for your family, for everyone.