On Monday 3rd February, 2020, the United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out his strategic vision for the United Kingdom’s future in Trade. Johnson was recently returned to power with an emphatic majority of 80 seats more than all other parties in the UK parliament.
His victory was little short of a miracle as dozens of Labour stronghold seats in the Midlands and North of England tumbled to Boris Johnson and his vision for a One Nation conservative Britain sovereignly Independent and outside the European Union after 3 and a half years of wilful procrastination by the Remain-in-Europe Establishment.
The media has limited the scope and importance of Monday’s speech to simply setting out his position in the forthcoming negotiations for a Trade Deal with the European Union. It was far, far more than that.
To anyone who listens to the speech with an open mind, it was clear that Johnson was placing the United Kingdom’s newly independent status within a very broad historical context. By holding the event in the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, the Prime Minister was making a very clear statement – and he began his speech by making this clear.
He invited everyone to look up to the painted ceiling, and explicitly called attention to William and Mary. The Prime Minister stated quite clearly:
Look at these well-fed nymphs and cupids and what have you.
They are not just celebrating the Triumph of Liberty and Peace over Tyranny – the official title of the scene.
This is the settlement of a long and divisive political question about who gets to sit on the throne of England.
And it is visibly resolved as you can see in favour of William and Mary and the result is stability and certainty and optimism and an explosion of global trade propelled by new maritime technology.
And just in case anybody should miss the relevance, he made it very clear:
So this is it. This is the newly forged United Kingdom on the slipway: this is the moment when it all took off.
And – you know where this is going – today if we get it right, if we have the courage to follow the instincts and the instructions of the British people, this can be another such moment on the launching pad.
Because once again we have settled a long-running question of sovereign authority, we have ended a debate that has run for three and a half years – some would say 47 years.
The Prime Minister went on:
We have the opportunity, we have the newly recaptured powers, we know where we want to go, and that is out into the world.
And today in Geneva as our ambassador Julian Braithwaite moves seats in the WTO and takes back control of our tariff schedules, an event in itself that deserves itself to be immortalised in oil – this country is leaving its chrysalis.
We are re-emerging after decades of hibernation as a campaigner for global free trade.
And frankly it is not a moment too soon because the argument for this fundamental liberty is now not being made.
We in the global community are in danger of forgetting the key insight of those great Scottish thinkers, the invisible hand of Adam Smith, and of course David Ricardo’s more subtle but indispensable principle of comparative advantage, which teaches that if countries learn to specialise and exchange then overall wealth will increase and productivity will increase, leading Cobden to conclude that free trade is God’s diplomacy – the only certain way of uniting people in the bonds of peace since the more freely goods cross borders the less likely it is that troops will ever cross borders.
And since these notions were born here in this country, it has been free trade that has done more than any other single economic idea to raise billions out of poverty and incredibly fast.
Protectionism, however, is now gaining ground and the wonder of Free Trade championed by Britain is seriously threatened in today’s global climate. But now,
here in Greenwich in the first week of February 2020, I can tell you in all humility that the UK is ready for that role.
We are ready for the great multi-dimensional game of chess in which we engage in more than one negotiation at once and we are limbering up to use nerves and muscles and instincts that this country has not had to use for half a century.
So there you have it from the horse’s mouth. Britain under Johnson’s courageous, visionary and pragmatic leadership is going to take the lead in asserting the essential principles and practice of Free Trade for the welfare of all on our planet. The protectionist practice of the EU is criticised and rejected. What’s more, the EU is told that it is just one of a number of markets around the world with which Britain will now negotiate trade deals i.e. the EU needs to get the message that it now has competition for the lucrative British market.
So, the EU is already fading in Mr Johnson’s mind as the critical point of reference for Trade. The world is now our oyster ! And in that world, Britain is being called to play a vital leading role. And as such it expects to be treated as an equal in the coming trade negotiations with the EU – not as the previously constituent, junior member within that Protectionist Club.
And in case the EU wants to persist in behaving as if it has some superior moral claim on standards, Johnson cited several instances where the UK is well ahead of the EU. And the Prime Minister made very clear that he does not intend to allow the UK to lower its standards or to compromise on them. Be that on environmental standards, women’s rights, worker’s rights, or whatever.
The EU should therefore get real, and not demand compliance with its inferior expectations from a nation which is accustomed to set the standards for others to meet.
But Dinosaur political editors like Robert Peston and Laura Kuenssberg were still not listening. Witness their questions after the speech. And witness the Remoaner Mode of the online reports from the BBC and Sky – referenced below.
They refused point blank to report the speech for what it actually said: its Theme, its context; its ambition; its Vision. Instead, they selected snippets to reinforce their own preconceptions about the rectitude of the EU and the stupidity of a Brexit Prime Minister.
In short, they continued the propaganda war for Remain.
Even after a Brexit Conservative Prime Minister is elected with a thumping majority derived from Labour voters sick of Remainia and Remoaning, the Liberal Left elite still edit and censor the truth according to their ideological, EUtopian myopia.
Please read the reports referenced below and the text of the Prime Minister’s speech. The comparison speaks volumes about the state of the British media today.
The report by Norman Smith for the BBC is a dead giveaway.
To hear the speech on You Tube and get the atmosphere and the questions, go to
The text of Boris Johnson’s excellent speech is on the government website at
The BBC report by Norman Smith can be found at
and the Sky report referred to is at