Happy New Year.
2021 should be a year of economic recovery and renewal, the year when we put the pandemic behind us and embrace the new opportunities for global Britain.
Welcome to our first day as an independent country after 48 years in the EEC/EU. I want the government to use our new freedoms to promote our our voice for the good abroad and our prosperity at home.
Rejoining the World Trade Organisation as a full member, the UK will now be a strong and influential proponent of free trade. I look forward to us enhancing the trade deals we already have, and entering new ones. The Trans Pacific Partnership, for example, is a large fast growing bloc which offers us many opportunities to increase our trade.
Chairing the world conference on green matters, I want the UK to be a voice for a practical and popular roll out of products and services that can place clean air and water at the heart of what we do. Policy needs to go with the grain of human nature and ambition.
As a leading member of NATO I want the UK to be a force for peace in the world, building on recent advances with peace treaties in the Middle East, and acting as a strong deterrent to disruptive actions by rogue states and movements.
I look forward to the removal of VAT from items like heating controls and insulation now we can make our own tax decisions. I want to see Freeports and Enterprise Zones to attract more investment and more better paid jobs to places that need a boost. I welcome the new student exchange scheme to replace and improve on Erasmus. The Turing scheme will support more students wanting to study abroad, and will be a worldwide scheme, not just a European one, extending their choices and widening horizons.
I want to see more of our farming grant regime go to promote more UK grown and reared food, to cut the food miles and ensure high local standards. I welcome the decision to ban the live export of animals, and want the government to ban pulse fishing in our waters. We need to rebuild our fish stocks as we plan a larger UK industry, and restore our marine environment.
Today we have again an independent country. Every adult is a voter who can choose MPs to pass the laws and spend the state budget as we wish, and who can dismiss MPs at elections if they let us down. The restoration of accountable democracy is at the centre of the Brexit project. 2021 will be the year to educate the official government into responding more to the needs and wishes of the people, and less to the requirements of an EU law code.
A happy new year to you all. I look forward to working on all the challenges in conjunction with a government which now has more power to shape events for us.