Boris Johnson Vows to Reshape Britain at Conservative Party Conference in Manchester
10:32 GMT 06.10.2021 (Updated: 13:25 GMT 01.03.2022)
Johnson has stressed that the UK is the fastest growing economy in the G7 and has vowed not to go back to the "same old broken model" of mass immigration.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has addressed the Conservative party members gathered in Manchester, for the first time in person since the pandemic.
Early in his speech, he lifted the spirits of his fellow Tories by calling the former leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, a "communist cosmonaut" and labeling the Cabinet Minister Michael Gove "Jon Bon Govi" after he'd been spotted dancing in an Aberdeen nightclub.
Johnson spoke about about the 2019 general election win for the party. He then praised the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. He admitted some people still may feel anxious about the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
The PM said that "sadly not gone away, the impact on death rates has been astonishing."
"Every day with every jab our vaccine defences are getting stronger," he added.
Britain spent £407bn on COVID support, said Johnson, adding that the UK's "debt now stands at over two trillion," which resulted in a huge hole" in the public finances.
"Waiting lists will almost certainly go up before they come down," the PM said.
The Tory leader told the audience that the government will raise the money to eliminate the issue at hand.
"I can tell you something Margaret Thatcher would not have ignored this meteorite that has just crashed through the public finances. She would have wagged her finger and said that more borrowing now is just higher interest rates and even higher taxes later," the PM told the conference.
Johnson also pledged to "get on with our job of uniting and levelling up" across the country.
Britain is embarking now on the change of direction for its economy, Johnson said.
"We are not going back to the same old broken model - with low wages, low growth and low skills and low productivity, all of it enabled and assisted by uncontrolled immigration. The answer to the present stresses and strains, which are mainly a function of growth and economic revival, is not to reach for the same old lever of uncontrolled migration to keep wages low," the PM said.
According to the British leader, the answer is to control immigration and allow people of talent into the UK, but not "use immigration as an excuse for failure to invest in people, in skills and in the equipment or machinery they need to do their jobs."
Addressing the issue of inequality in the British society, Johsnon said that there is "no reason why the inhabitants of one part of the country should be geographically fated to be poorer than others."
He admitted that Britain has one of the most imbalanced societies and lop-sided economies of all the richer countries.
"It is not just that there is a gap between London and the South East and the rest of the country - there are aching gaps within the regions themselves."
Levelling up "works for the whole country" and is a "right and responsible policy" that helps "take the pressure off parts of the overheating South East while simultaneously offering hope and opportunity to those areas that have felt left behind," Johnson said.
Crime & Immigration
Fighting crime, putting more police out on the beat, toughening sentences and "rolling up the county lines drugs networks is part of the levelling up for Britain", Johnson vowed.
The PM also pledged to increase the successful prosecutions for rape.
"Too many lying bullying cowardly men are using the law's delay to get away with violence against women and we cannot and will not stand for it," Johnson told the delegates.
Britain’s take on illegal immigration reflects in stricter control of borders.
The Conservatives heard that the government will pass its Borders Bill, because, according to Johnson, Downing Street believes “there must be a distinction between someone who comes here legally and someone who doesn't.
"Though I have every sympathy with people genuinely in fear of their lives. I have no sympathy whatever with the people traffickers who take thousands of pounds to send children to sea in frail and dangerous craft and we must end this lethal trade and break the gangsters' business model."
Johnson said that the government was not only building “more homes than at any time in the last 30 years, we are helping young people on to the property ladder with our 95 per cent mortgages.”
As Britain emerges from the pandemic, the workforce needs to get back to the office, Johnson suggested.
The government plans to use the "Brexit freedoms" to "do things differently" and regulate “the great growth areas of the 21st century".
"We have done 68 free trade deals and that great free trade deal with our friends in the EU and after decades of bewildering refusal we have persuaded the Americans to import prime British beef, a market already worth £66m,” Johnson said.
An prime example of global Britain in actions is the AUKUS pact, said Johnson.
The AUKUS defence and security agreement between Australia, the UK, and the US, set to protect and defend the three nations' shared interests in the Indo-Pacific, is "a recognition of the reality that the world is tilting on its economic axis and our trade and relations with the Indo Pacific region are becoming ever more vital," the PM said.