Post-Brexit regulations and ‘biggest defence review since the cold war’ among Johnson’s 100-day pledges

Written by Richard Johnstone on 5 December 2019 in News
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Prime minister sets out priorities that also include a Budget after the UK leaves the EU

Up to speed: Boris Johnson attempts to change the wheel of a Formula One car at Red Bull Racing, before setting out his 100 day plan Photo: PA

The Conservatives have pledged to set out details of the UK’s future policy plans for trade, agriculture, fishing and the environment and to begin an in-depth defence review within 100 days of winning next week's general election.

Setting out the key actions he would take if the Conservatives form a majority government after 12 December's vote, prime minister Boris Johnson said that a government led by him would have left the European Union by the 31 January deadline – well within the first 100 days. 

As well as having passed the withdrawal agreement he agreed with the EU and moving on to trade talks with the bloc on the future relationship, Johnson said that the government would also hold a post-Brexit Budget in February to implement the party’s pledges to raise the threshold at which national insurance is paid.


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Setting out “the future schemes for trade, agriculture, fishing and the environment once we leave the EU” would also be a priority, as would be launching what the party called “the biggest review of our defence, security and foreign policy since the end of the cold war”. This would likely be a new Strategic Defence and Security Review, to update the last one undertaken in 2015.

Other legislative changes that Johnson pledges to complete in the first 100 days include halting the automatic release of serious violent and sexual offenders at the half way point of their sentence, putting plans to increase school funding into law, and introducing higher charges for migrants who are treated in the NHS.

In addition to setting out “the future schemes for trade, agriculture, fishing and the environment once we leave the EU”, other policy pledges include beginning cross party talks to find an enduring solution to the challenge of social care, as well as developing new Australian-style points-based immigration system.

Setting out the plans, Johnson said: “If there is a Conservative majority next week, we will get Brexit done by the end of January. 2020 will then be the year we finally put behind us the arguments and uncertainty over Brexit. We will get parliament working on the people’s priorities – delivering 50,000 more nurses and 20,000 more police, creating millions more GP appointments, and taking urgent action on the cost of living.”

However, Labour’s Andrew Gwynne, the shadow communities and local government secretary, said that the Conservatives had already been in government for 3,494 days.

“In those days we’ve seen child poverty soar, rising homelessness, rising food bank use, and violent crime is up too,” he said. “The NHS has more people waiting for operations, and record staff vacancies.

“As the Conservatives approach 3,500 days of failure, it’s clear that more of the same failed austerity, privatisation and tax giveaways for the few is not the answer.”

About the author

Richard Johnstone is CSW's deputy and online editor and tweets as @CSW_DepEd.

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