Rishi Sunak is appealing to voters to entrust Britain’s security to the Tories

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Rishi Sunak is appealing to voters to entrust Britain's security to the Tories

Rishi Sunak gave a speech at Policy Exchange on Monday morning

5 minutes reading

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said only the Conservatives can be trusted with Britain’s national, energy and economic security in a new plea to keep his party in power.

Speaking at the Policy Exchange think tank on Monday, Sunak said the country is at a “crossroads” where the public would have to make a “choice between the future and the past” at the ballot box when the country goes to the polls later. this year. Sunak must call an election before the end of 2024.

“The dangers facing our country are real,” Sunak said.

“They are increasing in number and an axis of authoritarian states like Russia, Iran, North Korea and China are working together to undermine us and our values.”

In the wide-ranging speech widely seen as an unofficial election pitch, he went on to describe “gender activists who are hijacking children’s sex education to cancel culture,” protesters “trying to impose their views on the rest of us,” and Scottish nationalists are “trying to tear our United Kingdom apart”.

Despite the Tories trailing Labor in national polls and the Conservatives suffering huge losses in the recent local and mayoral elections, Sunak insists he is “confident that my party can prevail” in the upcoming general election.

“Not only because of our track record, but because we will be the only party that really talks about the future and not with vague, lofty platitudes, but with bold ideas and a clear plan that can change our society for the better and increase the confidence of people can recover. and proud of our country,” he said.

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Sunak claimed that keeping the country safe was the “top priority of a Conservative government” and pointed to the “decision of the generations” to increase defense spending to a new baseline of 2.5 percent of GDP by 2030 .

PoliticsHome recently reported that Tory backbenchers were urging Number 10 to make security a dominant and recurring theme of the general election campaign.

Sunak described record global migration as “a new and decisive challenge of our time” and said that “only we Conservatives have the power to challenge convention and do something different” through initiatives such as the Rwanda deportation programme.

He repeated a hint that Britain could leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if it wants to block flights to Rwanda.

“I know that our international frameworks are outdated so there may be flashpoints with the ECHR and if the court in Strasbourg makes me choose between the ECHR and the security of this country… I will choose the security of our country,” he said.

Sunak also spoke about the opportunities presented by technologies such as artificial intelligence.

“The paradox of our time is that, despite all the great dangers we now face, we also have in our hands an opportunity for human progress that could outpace the Industrial Revolution,” he said, adding that AI “would almost can help every aspect of human life”.

“Think of the investments they will bring, the jobs they will create and the increase in our living standards they will bring,” he continued.

“Credible estimates suggest that AI alone could double our productivity in the next decade.”

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The Prime Minister also sought to highlight how a Conservative government would guarantee energy and economic opportunities across Britain.

“I reject the ideological zeal of those who want us to adopt policies faster than any other country, regardless of the cost or disruption to people’s lives,” he said.

“That is exactly Labour’s approach. Acting as a pressure group, not a so-called government, the Conservatives will govern in the national interest and lead us to net zero in a serious, stubborn way, prioritizing our country’s energy security and the financial security of hardworking families. ”

Sunak added that his government was “creating the conditions for a new British dynamism by investing in the new infrastructure of the future,” but that this dynamism should also come from the “ingenuity and creativity of the British people.”

The Prime Minister accused Starmer’s Labor of communicating “doom loops” and “gaslighting”, arguing that the Tories have a more optimistic vision of the country.

“I am lucid enough to admit that they may be complicating their path to victory, with all their talk of doomsday scenarios, gaslighting and scaremongering about pensions,” Sunak said.

“But I don’t think it will work, because we are essentially a nation of optimists, but not blind to the challenges or threats we face. We simply have an innate belief that whatever they are, we can overcome them, as we have done so many times in our history, and create a secure future for you and your family.

Meanwhile, Starmer met with the Labor mayors elected earlier this month to discuss how a potential future Labor government would work with them to boost economic growth in the UK.

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Responding to Sunak’s speech, he said Britain would be “no less safe under a Labor government”.

“I know firsthand the importance of national security and that is why I have been so committed to our country’s national security,” he said.

He added that the issue would be a Labor government’s “number one priority”, while the Conservative government had had “seven resets in 18 months”.

“The government and Rishi Sunak keep saying everything is fine, but everyone knows it isn’t, which is why we are very focused on living standards,” Starmer said.

“What I am developing together with the mayors here is a plan to raise living standards in every part of the country.”

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