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Budget Resolutions - Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:56 pm on 13th March 2017.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 6:56 pm, 13th March 2017

Let me make some progress.

In that global marketplace, this Budget will allow young Britons to compete with the best by investing in the talents and skills of the rising generation—more than a hundred new free schools provided for; a thousand more PhD places specifically for science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and another £270 million for biotech, robotics and electric vehicles. There will be another £16 million for 5G mobile technology. That is building on and fostering a global reputation for innovation. Last year, we were ranked the third most innovative country in the world. We were one place above America, 7 places ahead of Germany, 15 higher than France, and fully 21 places above China. That is the measure of the extraordinary intellectual fecundity of this country.

Cambridge University alone has produced more Nobel laureates than every university in Russia and China added together and multiplied by two. When those breakthroughs take place, when that spark of innovation takes place, we foster it, we encourage it and we give business every possible incentive to turn those brilliant ideas into world-beating products.

From next month, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor will cut corporation tax to 19%, and it will be 17% by 2020—the lowest of any G20 economy. And it is by creating the right business environment—by investing in infrastructure, skills, housing and technology—that we are not only building a platform for sustainable growth but creating a launch pad for the most extraordinary exports. As I never tire of telling my friends, we export tea to China and cake—chocolate cake—to France; we export bicycles, I am proud to say, made in London to Holland; we export TV aerials to South Korea, and boomerangs to Australia, I believe; I think we have at least once in the past exported sand to Saudi Arabia; and Nigel Farage to America, I am delighted to say.

On Friday—