[1st Day]

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 3:25 pm on 11th May 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party, The Prime Minister 3:25 pm, 11th May 2021

We have put £5 billion into supporting homeowners who face the problems of cladding in buildings over 18 metres, and we are supporting leaseholders at every level. This is a massive problem, which the Government are undertaking to deal with using all our resources. However, if the hon. Gentleman is now saying that the Labour party is in favour of home ownership, that it is the first time I have heard of it. Labour is resolutely opposed to measures that allow people to own their own homes, and they have been ever since I have been in politics. That is one of the crucial differences between them and us. I had hoped that the hon. Gentleman was going to support our measures to allow people to train and retrain and acquire new skills.

Everything we do will be done as one United Kingdom, combining the genius of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland—joined together by blood and family tradition and history in the most successful political, economic and social union the world has ever known. In all its centuries, the Union has seldom proved its worth more emphatically than during this pandemic, when the United Kingdom—the fifth-biggest economy in the world—had the power to invest over £407 billion to protect jobs and livelihoods and businesses everywhere in these islands, including one in three jobs in Scotland, safeguarded by the combined resources of Her Majesty’s Treasury under my right hon. Friend the Chancellor.

Now, as we build back better, greener and fairer, we shall benefit as one United Kingdom from the free trade agreements that we have regained the power to sign, opening up new markets across the world. Only last week, I agreed an enhanced trade partnership with the Prime Minister of India, covering a billion pounds of trade and investment and creating more than 6,500 jobs across the UK.

As one United Kingdom, we will be a force for good in the world, leading the campaigns at next month’s G7 summit in Cornwall for global vaccination, education for girls and action on climate change. As one United Kingdom, we will host the UN climate change conference in Glasgow and help to rally ever more countries to follow our example and pledge to achieve net zero by 2050. As one United Kingdom, we will continue with ever-greater intensity to connect talent with opportunity, mobilising the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the British people to achieve their full potential at last. It is an enormous task, made more difficult by the pandemic and yet more urgent, but it is the right task for this country now. I know the country can achieve it, and this Queen’s Speech provides us with the essential tools to do it. I commend the Queen’s Speech to the House.