11th May 2022

The Queen’s Speech – a new opportunity for all of us

The Queen’s Speech – a new opportunity for all of us

This country has many fine qualities, but chief among its faults is its tendency to dwell on the negative. What the Prime Minister has called the doomsters and gloomsters are at it again. Project Fear is getting another outing and bad times are just around the corner.

We’ve been through tough times. There are challenges ahead. But all around us, spring is reminding us that every year, every day, brings new beginnings and opportunities for us all. The Queen’s Speech signifies the beginning of this in the new political cycle. It’s an opportunity for us all to start again.

If you were to believe the narrative, this is an exhausted, divided country in decline. It’s devoid of ideas and has no vision. Ditto its government. And it just ain’t so. There are loads of things for us to feel good about. Everywhere you look Britain is waking up after the long and difficult processes of Brexit and Covid.

Our businesses are resilient and have adapted, our entrepreneurs are creating, our scientists, engineers and technicalness are innovating. These are the wealth creators, and it is Government’s job to ensure they can thrive.

The Queen’s speech contained a Trade Bill to bring the Australia and New Zealand Trade Deals into effect. In the long run, those agreements could increase household wages by £900m and £200m respectively. This is just the start. This year we hope to have further agreements with the likes of India and complete our accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, both massive markets. As well as boosting trade the latter will increase wages. Our new agreements with individual US states will seek to increase uptake of US procurement opportunities for UK firms.

Equally, we’re focussed on attracting investment to every part of the UK. The Confederation of Indian Industry revealed last week that over the last year Asian companies investing in the UK and their revenues have soared. 141,005 people are now employed by such firms, up on 116,046 in 2021.

This progress takes hard work, but it’s work we must do to get our economy growing. That growth will help us tackle the challenges ahead. The glum buckets point to a cost of living crisis, inflation and the prospect of a major recession, but hand-wringing won’t help counter these issues. Focus and application will.

Some argue that success can only be handed to you. That, having chosen a new course for our country, we’re at the mercy of global tides and winds. They are often the same people who argue that good health will follow you without taking personal responsibility. And that we cannot be successful without Brussels. This, despite the unilateral success of our vaccine roll-out. This, despite the low unemployment. This, despite the record numbers of people that want to come here.

It’s palpable nonsense. There are plenty of things for us to be proud of. The daily despair isn’t who we are. We also know that success, whether it be national or personal, is not government’s decision. It is something we all choose. Just as we chose collectively to leave the EU. It is a state of mind. It is a determination. The podium is a choice.

So if you’re one of those that believe you can, or if you’re one of those that believe you can’t, then you’re probably right on both counts. It’s the same as a country. What we believe matters and there are too many that want us to fail just to satisfy their only vanity – that they were right all along. They seem to hate our country and want it to fail, maybe it’s because they have failed themselves. You hear this from many over-educated, under-achievers. They accuse my government colleagues of stupidity. They say we’re wreckers, if we want to reform the BBC. They equate us protecting our borders with xenophobia. They belittle the opportunities that removing trade barriers bring. Every UK success story is met with sarcasm and derision. They hate the modernisation and opportunity that the Government is bringing.

This change is necessary for our nation to succeed. So remember that despite all their collective misery, Spring is happening all around. The world is opening up with so many opportunities. The Queen’s Speech is when we look forward again to the days ahead. If there is trouble ahead, then we’ll do everything we can to minimise it. And each of us can help by having confidence in who we are and belief in our values.