Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled the election manifesto for the Conservative Party. Following is the speech delivered by the prime minister:
Today, as we face this critical election for our country, I launch my manifesto for Britain’s future. A manifesto to see us through Brexit and beyond. A plan for a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain.
A plan to seize the opportunities ahead and to build a country that our children and grandchildren are proud to call home. It is a detailed programme for government – rooted in the hopes and aspirations of ordinary working people across this land. But it is more than that. It is a vision for Britain: a portrait of the kind of country I want this nation to be after Brexit as we chart our own way in the world.
For at this defining moment for the United Kingdom – as we embark on this momentous journey for our nation – we have a chance to step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to build together. I believe our United Kingdom can emerge from this period of national change stronger, fairer and more prosperous than ever before.
I believe we can be a country that stands tall in the world and provides leadership on some of the greatest challenges of our time. And I believe we can – and must – take this opportunity to build a Great Meritocracy here in Britain. Let me be clear about what that means.
It means making Britain a country where everyone – of whatever background – has the chance to go as far as their talent and their hard work will take them. A country that asks not where you have come from, but where you are going to. It means making Britain a country that works, not for the privileged few, but for everyone.
A country where it doesn’t matter where you were born, who your parents are, where you went to school, what your accent sounds like, what god you worship, whether you’re a man or a woman, gay or straight, or black or white. A country in which all that matters is the talent you have and how hard you’re prepared to work.
That is the kind of Britain I want us to build together. Because as we leave the European Union and set ourselves a new course, we need to make the most of all the talent in this country.
For Britain to succeed, we need to unleash the ability of every person, harness the creativity of every business, support the ambition and entrepreneurialism of every sector. We need to embrace the opportunities before us with confidence: believing in Britain and in the enduring power of the British spirit.
And we need to look forward not back: believing that despite our great heritage, we have an even greater future. And that we can build that brighter future together. Let us be in no doubt: it will not be easy.
There will be obstacles in our way. There will be some who wish us to fall short. Others who wish to hold us back. Many who will us to fail. But with discipline and focus, effort and hard work, and above all a unity of purpose stretching across this precious union of nations from North to South and East to West, I believe we can – and must – go forward together.
A PLAN FOR BRITAIN
To do that, we need a new contract between government and people. We need a government that is strong enough to act and humble enough to listen; responsive enough to people’s needs and stable enough to get on with the job and deliver.
And we need to unite behind a clear plan to make the most of the opportunities ahead. That is what this Manifesto offers: a clear plan to meet the big challenges we face together.
A credible, deliverable programme for government around which the country can unite. A plan that – unlike the offerings of other parties – is upfront and honest about the scale of the task we face.
What we say in it we will do. And the scale of our ambition is clear. Because it is the responsibility of leadership to be upfront and straight with people about the challenges ahead, about the difficult decisions and trade-offs that need to be made, and the hard work required to overcome the obstacles in our way.
That is what this Manifesto does. It identifies the five giant challenges that we face as a country:
ONE: the need for a strong economy…
TWO: responding to Brexit and a changing world…
THREE: tackling enduring social divisions…
FOUR: responding to an ageing society…
And FIVE: facing up to fast-changing technology.
And it sets out what we will do to address each one.
And in doing so, it offers a vision for Britain – not just for the next five years, but for the years and decades beyond.
A stronger Britain where everyone has the economic security they need and the chance to live a secure and full life. A more prosperous Britain where each generation can do better than the last.
THE RIGHT DEAL ABROAD
But all of this depends on getting the next five years right. Make no mistake, the central challenge we face is negotiating the best deal for Britain in Europe.
Our future prosperity, our place in the world, our standard of living, and the opportunities we want for our children – and our children’s children – each and every one depends on having the strongest possible hand as we enter those negotiations in order to get the best Brexit deal for families across this country.
If we fail, the consequences for Britain and for the economic security of ordinary working people will be dire. If we succeed, the opportunities ahead of us are great.
I have negotiated for Britain in Europe. And I know that the best place to start is to be clear about where you stand and what you want. That is why I have been clear that we do not seek to fudge this issue – to be half-in and half-out of the EU.
The British people made their choice. I respect that. And I respect the view of other European leaders who agree we can’t be half-in, half-out either. So we will leave the European Union and take control of our money, take control of our borders and take control of our laws.
We will forge a new deep and special partnership with Europe, but reach out beyond Europe to strike new trade deals for our goods and services with old allies and new friends around the world too. We will make the decisions that matter to Britain here in Britain and be a great, global trading nation that stands tall in the world once again.
A BETTER DEAL AT HOME
And if we get Brexit right, we can use this moment of change to build a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain here at home. That is the real prize – the goal towards which we must work. Because for too many people in Britain today, life is simply much harder than many seem to think or realise.
They are not ideological. They don’t buy into grand visions. They aren’t fooled by politicians who promise the earth and claim no tough choices are required. They make those choices every day in their own lives and understand that politicians who aspire to lead must do the same.
They do not ask for much. They just want to get on with their lives, to do their best for their children, and to be given a fair chance. And they look to their government for help and support. This party – the Conservative and Unionist Party – will be that government.
For while it is never true that government has all the answers, government – put squarely at the service of ordinary working people – can and should be a force for good. A force that steps up and acts in the interests of ordinary working people.
That does not ignore them or walk by on the other side, but serves the interests of the mainstream of the British public. With the right Brexit deal secured, my mainstream government will deliver for mainstream Britain. All those who work hard and make this country what it is.
People who have a job but do not always have job security… People who own their home but worry about paying the mortgage…
People who can just about manage but worry about the cost of living and getting their children into a good school.
WHAT WE WILL DO
That is why the Government I lead will ensure every area of this United Kingdom is able to prosper, with a modern industrial strategy to spread opportunity across the whole country.
Why the Government I lead will build a Britain in which work pays, with a higher National Living Wage and proper rights and protections at work.
Why the Government I lead will keep taxes low and cap rip-off energy tariffs to help families who are working all the hours they can to pay the bills.
Why we will help those struggling to afford a home of their own by building more affordable homes.
It’s why the Government I lead will build a Britain in which the economy is strong to support world-class public services, with the most ambitious programme of investment in technology and buildings the NHS has ever seen…
Record – and fair – funding for schools…
Real technical education for young people…
and the first ever proper plan to pay for – and provide – social care.
Because strong public services don’t just provide security and enhance opportunity – they are vital local and national institutions that bring us all together.
And it is why the Government I lead will be relentless in tackling burning injustices like discrimination on the basis of race, gender, mental health or disability.
For injustice is a scar on the soul of our nation and I will fight it wherever it is found. So for example, we will introduce the first new Mental Health Bill for thirty years to put parity of esteem at the heart of treatment and end the stigma of mental illness once and for all.
STRONG AND STABLE LEADERSHIP
But most important of all, the Government I lead will provide strong and stable leadership to see us through Brexit and beyond: tackling the long-term challenges we face, and ensuring everyone in our country has the chance to get on in life.
We need that strong and stable leadership now more than ever.
For the next five years will be among the most challenging in our lifetime. A defining period for our nation. A turning point for Britain that will determine the kind of country we are and the kind of future the generations that come after us will see.
That is why, now more than ever, Britain needs strong and stable government.
Why now more than ever, Britain needs strong leadership to make the most of the opportunities Brexit will bring.
Now more than ever, Britain needs a clear plan and the determination and the will to see it through.
And it is why in this election – more than in any before – it is time to put the old, tribal politics behind us and to come together in the national interest: united in our desire to make a success of Brexit.
United in our desire to get the right result for Britain. Because every vote for me and my team in this election will strengthen my hand in the negotiations to come.
Every vote for me and my team will be a vote to get on with the job of delivering Brexit and delivering a stronger, more secure future for all. Every vote for me and my team will be a vote for a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain. And after all that has passed, that is a vision of the future that can bring us together.
So I offer myself as your Prime Minister. With a resolute determination to get on with the job of delivering Brexit…
Optimism that I can get a deal that works for all….And confident in the belief that we have the vision, the plan and the will to use this moment to build a better Britain.
With the right deal for Britain abroad: taking back control of our borders, our money and our laws. And a better deal for ordinary working people at home:
A modern industrial strategy to spread prosperity and opportunity around the country…
Exploiting the opportunities of technology to attract the jobs of the future to Britain…
Relief on family energy bills and the cost of living…
More secure, well-paid jobs and new protections for workers…
The chance to own a home and more affordable housing…
A good school place for every child with more money for schools every year…
A strong economy to fund our NHS and give you the security you need.
A stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain that works for everyone, not just a privileged few.
That is the goal. This is the plan. And now is the time.
So join me on this journey….
Come with me as I lead Britain …
Strengthen my hand as I fight for Britain…
Stand with me as I deliver for Britain…
And with confidence in ourselves and a unity of purpose in our country, let us all go forward together.