Spending Round 2019

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:56 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:56 pm, 4th September 2019

Let me start by saying a few words about the circumstances surrounding today’s statement. We are in uncharted waters. I understand the strong feelings around the House on these important questions, but it cannot be right for a proud, sovereign democracy to ignore the will of the people. If the House votes for the Bill this afternoon, all we will be doing is delaying what the people have entrusted to us to do, and creating even more uncertainty for our democracy and our economy through a general election that nobody wants. We cannot allow that uncertainty to distract us from delivering on the people’s priorities, so today, to give certainty where we can, I announce our spending plans for Britain’s first year outside the European Union.

After a decade of recovery from Labour’s great recession, we are turning the page on austerity and beginning a new decade of renewal. A new economic era needs a new economic plan, and today we lay the foundations with the fastest increase in day-to-day spending for 15 years. The plans I announce today mean that we will be able to build a safer Britain where our streets are more secure; a healthier Britain where we can care for people throughout their lives; and a better-educated Britain where every child and young person has the opportunity to succeed, no matter where they come from or who their parents are. We will build a global Britain where we walk tall in the world with more, not less, of a presence on the international stage; a modern Britain where we embrace diversity as a strength; an enterprising Britain where we are proud of our scientists, our inventors and our entrepreneurs; and a prosperous Britain where we live within our means and growth comes from every corner of this nation. Today we lay the foundations for a stronger, fairer and more prosperous future for our great country.

It has been three years and three months since the British people gave us their instruction to leave the European Union. If people are going to have faith in the ballot box again, we absolutely have to follow through on that instruction. That is why we have set a deadline of 31 October—just 57 days away. The Government still believe that the best outcome would be to leave with a deal, and we could not be more serious about negotiating for such an outcome. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has set out our position, and our central ask is clear: to remove the anti-democratic backstop from the withdrawal agreement. But without the ability and willingness to walk away with no deal, we will not get a good deal.

I know that some businesses and households are concerned about what a no-deal outcome would mean for them. I recognise that, and I understand that the uncertainty around Brexit is challenging, but this is ultimately a question of trust in our democracy. In the end, a strong economy can only be built on the foundation of a successful democracy.