The Speaker
Thursday, 18 July 2024 – 18:57

Highlights as Boris Johnson speaks to House of Commons for first time as PM

Boris Johnson has addressed MPs for the first time as PM in the House of Commons on the last day of the parliamentary year.

In his statement, Mr Johnson said;

“Our mission is to deliver Brexit on the 31st of October for the purpose of uniting and reenergizing our great United Kingdom and making this country the greatest place on earth”

“There’s far too much negativity about the potential for our country. First step in the renewal of Britain is to restore trust in politics – by leaving the EU on 31 October.”

The Prime Minister said that he would prefer to leave the EU with a deal and that he is confident of getting a new agreement even at this late stage. He did though commit to leaving the EU, whatever the circumstances on 31 October.

Mr Johnson told MPs that he wanted to give EU citizens in the UK “absolute certainty” that they can live and remain in the UK.

Away from Brexit, the Prime Minister said;

“We have the best transport, the cleanest environment, the best healthcare and the best approach to care of elderly people.

If we bend our sinews to the task now, there is every chance that in 2050 we will be able to look back on this extraordinary period as the beginning of a new golden age for our United Kingdom.”

Mr Johnson also promised extra funding for health, schools and greater numbers of police. Mr Johnson also pledged a ‘radical rewriting of our immigration system’. 

Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn started his response to Mr Johnson’s speech by saying:

“No-one underestimates this country but the country is deeply worried that the new prime minister overestimates himself.”

Mr Corbyn called for more details on extra funding, saying:

“People do not trust this prime minister to make the right choices for the majority of people in this country when he’s also promising tax giveaways for the richest and big business, his own party’s funders.”

On Brexit, the Labour leader said;

“I was deeply alarmed to see no plan for Brexit.

He was in the Cabinet that accepted the backstop and of course voted for it on 30 March this year.

It would be welcome if he could set out what he finds so objectionable, having voted for it less than four months ago.”

Mr Corbyn reiterated concerns over no-deal and said that his party would reject any deal that failed to protect jobs, workers rights or environmental protections. He said if the PM put a decision back to the people, Labour would campaign to Remain.

On the UK’s relationship with the US, Mr Corbyn said;

“I note the climate change-denying US President has already labelled him “Britain Trump” and welcomed his commitment to work with Nigel Farage.

Could “Britain Trump” take this opportunity to rule out the NHS being part of any trade deal with President Trump withthe USA?”

In response, the Prime Minister said his government would not under any circumstances bargain away the NHS in free trade negotiations with the US.


Meanwhile, the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford welcomed Johnson as “the last prime minister of the UK”.

He says: “Scotland did not vote for Brexit, we did not vote for no deal, and we most certainly did not vote for this prime minister.”

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson challenged Mr Johnson to support a Lib Dem bill proposed in the House of Lords to enshrine EU citizens’ rights in legislation.


The House of Commons now enters recess for the summer break until 3 September 2019.

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