Prime Minister's Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:44 pm on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 6:44 pm, 25th September 2019

The right hon. Gentleman asked several questions, and I will try to deal with them in order.

On the first point, my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General made it absolutely clear that this is a judgment with which he disagrees, although of course he respects the judgment of the Supreme Court.

On the second point, about the Benn-Burt Act, I will say what I am sure the Leader of the Opposition understands. We will, of course, obey the law and we will come out of the EU on 31 October.

On the point about preparations for a no-deal Brexit, I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who just spoke for two hours on this matter. Our preparations are very far advanced, and I think this country can be entirely confident that we will be ready, deal or no deal.

On the point about whether or not we are on the verge of getting a deal, it is absolutely true that negotiations are difficult, but we are making progress. All I will say to the Leader of the Opposition and his friends is that the negotiations have not been made easier by the surrender Act he passed.

On the next point, I am very proud about everything I did as Mayor of London. I may say to the current Mayor that he would be better off spending less on press officers and more on police officers in London, because we were funding 20,000 more on our streets. As for being trusted on Iran, the Leader of the Opposition took the shilling of the mullahs from Press TV.

I was rather sad that the Labour conference was interrupted by the ruling, because I was awestruck by some of the things I heard, which doubtless were designed to obscure the inanity of the right hon. Gentleman’s policy on Brexit. He wants to abolish fee-paying schools, at a cost to the taxpayer of £7 billion. He wants a four-day working week, cutting the incomes of the lowest paid in this country. He wants to abolish Ofsted, and now we hear he wants to abolish all controls on immigration from the EU.

But it turns out a crucial passage was missing from the right hon. Gentleman’s speech. There is something slightly pitiful about him, because it seems that he actually did want to call an election now. There was a passage in his speech calling for an election now, but it was censored by the Stasi in the form of the shadow Chancellor—or perhaps the shadow Lord Chancellor. The right hon. Gentleman is being gagged, muzzled, held captive by his colleagues. They will not let him say what he wants to say. I say, “Free the Islington One!”

Why will the right hon. Gentleman’s colleagues not allow him to have an election? Why will they not allow him to unleash his charms on the electorate? It is because they are not only terrified that he would lose, but even more terrified by the remote possibility that he would win. He cannot control his own party. He cannot decide whether he is for leave or for remain. He is being held captive by his colleagues, the electorate are being held captive by this zombie Parliament and this zombie Opposition, and the right hon. Gentleman wants the entire country to be held captive in the EU after 31 October, at a cost of more than £1 billion a month. We say, “No!” I say, “No!” Let us get Brexit done and let us take this country forward. [Applause.]