Nadhim Zahawi is Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and is also the MP for Stratford-on-Avon.
It’s exciting to once again be on the campaign trail, urging my fellow citizens to put their faith in Boris Johnson to continue as our Prime Minister. Despite the questionable weather, I can’t wait to grab the brolly and take our case to the people – because there’s a very simple choice we have before us, between a clear plan with Johnson or indecision with Corbyn.
December 12th will be a chance for the people of the United Kingdom to have their say; to choose between getting Brexit over the finish line, or yet more months of dither and delay. It’s the moment we can finally move on from a divided Parliament, torn between their thoughts of remaining and their obligation to leave. However, the Commons passing the Withdrawal Agreement won’t be the end: it’ll be the starting point for our work to create the dynamic, high wage, pro-business economy we want in this country.
In my role as Minister for Business and Industry, I’ve been hearing every day from businesses, small, medium and large, about their hopes, plans and ambitions for the future. From the conversations we’ve had, I know it’s only the Conservatives who can help them succeed.
We’re the party that knows how tough it is to set up a business, work hard, and hope to find the money to hire that first member of staff. We know what it’s like to create something out of nothing. Labour are the party that can do nothing but treat success with suspicion.
We’re the party that knows what it’s like to pay that quarterly VAT bill even if you haven’t been paid on time by a large customer, and we know what’s it’s like to send off those employer NICs. Labour are the party that only think about how much more tax you can be made to pay.
We’re the party that knows most bosses care deeply about their employees, and recognise that businesses succeed or fail as a team. Labour just want to regulate every aspect of your lives, and fill your days with more and more red tape.
We’re obviously going to be talking a lot about Brexit in the coming weeks, and I think the country has never been more eager to put the question to bed, see politicians deliver on their promises and move forward. But we must remember that one of the primary benefits of getting that deal passed will be providing businesses in the UK with a stable base from which to plan for the future. Our businesses have the ingenuity, skills and talent to succeed, but they need to know what the future will hold before they can invest, hire and deliver. Passing the Prime Minister’s deal will provide that; Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to defer decisions and rerun referendums certainly won’t.
While the last decade of Conservative leadership has seen record employment and wages continue to rise, we always want to do more. As soon as Brexit is done, we’ll be able to set about ensuring the United Kingdom is the best place in the world to do business. We want businesses to have access to world class internet, are able to tap into top quality skills produced by an improved education system from primary to FE, and can trade more easily with every corner of the planet.
We want every small business to have a fair chance against the big guys, because the small business of today are so often the idea factories that can change tomorrow. And, we know that a strong economy requires modern infrastructure, whether that’s building and maintaining roads or delivering digital connectivity.
As autumn goes on, temperatures fall and days shorten, our activists will be knocking on doors and advancing down avenues in every corner of Britain, all to convince voters of our case to continue with Conservative leadership in this country. Which party can deliver for businesses, and all those who contribute to the private sector, will be a vital influence on the choice those voters will make. Everything else a government wants to do is only possible if the private sector is able to create a strong, vibrant and innovative economy. It’s clear that there’s only one party that can deliver that economy, and deliver Brexit at the same time. That’s why the case to vote Conservative on December 12th will be so convincing.