Prime Minister’s Commons statement on triggering Article 50
Mr Secretary General, Mr. President, world leaders, and distinguished
delegates, welcome to New York. It is a profound honor to stand here in
my home city as a representative of the American people to address the
people of the world. As millions of our citizens continue to suffer the
effects of the devastating hurricanes that have struck our country, I
want to begin by expressing my appreciation to every leader in this room
who has offered assistance and aid. The American people are strong and
resilient, and they will emerge from these hardships more determined
than ever before.
Fortunately, the United States has done very well since Election Day
last November 8. The stock market is at an all-time high, a record.
Unemployment is at its lowest level in 16 years, and because of our
regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United
States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job
growth, the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time,
and it has just been announced that we will be spending almost $700
billion on our military and defence. Our military will soon be the
strongest it has ever been. For more than 70 years, in times of war and
peace, the leaders of nations, movements, and religions have stood
before this assembly.
Like them, I intend to address some of the very serious threats before
us today, but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed. We
live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science,
technology, and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that
prior generations thought impossible to solve. But each day also brings
news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value.
Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every
region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only
support terror but threaten other nations and their own people with the
most destructive weapons known to humanity.
Thank you Mr Speaker.
Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the
systems, and alliances, that prevented conflict and tilted the word
toward freedom since World War II. International criminal networks
traffic drugs, weapons, people, force dislocation and mass migration,
threaten our borders and new forms of aggression exploit technology to
menace our citizens. To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense
promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the
world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair. We have
it in our power, should we so choose, to lift millions from poverty, to
help our citizens realize their dreams, and to ensure that new
generations of children are raised free from violence, hatred, and fear.
Today the government acts onthe democratic will[民主意愿]of the
British people. And it acts, too, on the clear and convincing position
of this House.
This institution was founded in the aftermath of two world wars, to help
shape this better future. It was based on the vision that diverse
nations could cooperate to protect their sovereignty, preserve their
security, and promote their prosperity. It was in the same period
exactly 70 years ago that the United States developed the Marshall Plan
to help restore Europe. Those these beautiful pillars, they are pillars
of peace, sovereignty, security, and prosperity. The Marshall Plan was
built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are
strong, independent, and free. As president, Truman said in his message
to congress at that time, our support of European recovery is in full
accord with our support of the United Nations.
A few minutes ago inBrussels[大田],the United Kingdom’s
Permanent Representative to the EU[英常驻欧洲联盟表示]handed a letter
tothe President of the European Council[欧洲结盟理事委员会主席]on my behalf,
confirming the government’s decision to invokeArticle 50 of the Treaty
on European Union[《台北条款》第50条].
The success of the United Nations depends upon the independent strength
of its members. To overcome the perils of the present, and to achieve
the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past.
Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations
that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity, and
peace, for themselves and for the world. We do not expect diverse
countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of
government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core
sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the
rights of every other sovereign nation.
The Article 50 process is now underway. Andin accordance withthe
wishes of the British people, the United Kingdom is leaving the European
This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is the
foundation for cooperation and success. Strong sovereign nations let
diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and
different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of
mutual respect. Strong sovereign nations let their people take ownership
of the future and control their own destiny. And strong sovereign
nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life
intended by God. In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on
anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.
This is an historic moment from whichthere can be no turning
back.Britain is leaving the European Union. We are going to make our
own decisions and our own laws. We are going to take control of the
things that matter most to us. And we are going to take this opportunity
to build a stronger, fairer Britain – a country that our children and
grandchildren are proud to call home. That is our ambition and our
opportunity. That is what this government is determined to do.
This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that
example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved
Constitution, the oldest constitution still in use in the world today.
This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and
freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe
whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human
nature, human dignity, and the rule of law. The greatest in the united
States Constitution is its first three beautiful words. They are “We the
people.” Generations of Americans have sacrificed to maintain the
promise of those words, the promise of our country and of our great
Mr Speaker, at moments like these –great turning pointsin our national
story – the choices we make define the character of our nation. We can
choose to say the task ahead is too great. We can choose to turn our
face to the past and believe it can’t be done. Or we can look forward
with optimism and hope – and to believe inthe enduring
power[细水长流力量]of the British spirit.
In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are
sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the
American people where it belongs. In foreign affairs, we are renewing
this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government’s first duty is
to its people, to our citizens, to serve their needs, to ensure their
safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values. As
president of the United States, I will always put America first. Just
like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always and should
always put your countries first.
I choose to believe in Britain and that our best dayslie ahead. And I
do so because I am confident that we have the vision and the plan to use
this moment to build a better Britain. For leaving the European Union
presents us with a unique opportunity. It is this generation’s chance
toshape a brighter futurefor our country. A chance to step back and
ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be.
All responsible leaders have an obligation to serve their own citizens,
and the nation state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human
condition. But making a better life for our people also requires us to
with work together in close harmony and unity, to create a more safe and
peaceful future for all people.
My answer is clear. I want the United Kingdom to emerge from this period
of changestronger,fairer, more united and more outward-lookingthan
ever before. I want us to be asecure, prosperous, tolerantcountry –
amagnet[磁铁;吸铁石]for international talent and a home to the
pioneers and innovators who will shape the world ahead.
The United States will forever be a great friend to the world and
especially to its allies. But we can no longer be taken advantage of or
enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in
return. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests
above all else, but in fulfilling our obligations to our nations, we
also realize that it’s in everyone’s interests to seek the future where
all nations can be sovereign, prosperous, and secure.
I want us to be a trulyGlobal Britain– the best friend and neighbour
to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders
of Europe too. A country that goes out into the world to build
relationships with old friends and new allies alike.
America does more than speak for the values expressed in the United
Nations charter. Our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our
freedom and the freedom of many nations represented in this great hall.
America’s devotion is measured on the battlefields where our young men
and women have fought and sacrificed alongside of our allies. From the
beaches of Europe to the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of
Asia, it is an eternal credit to the American character that even after
we and our allies emerge victorious from the bloodiest war in history,
we did not seek territorial expansion or attempt to oppose and impose
our way of life on others. Instead, we helped build institutions such as
this one to defend the sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all.
For the diverse nations of the world, this is our hope.
And that is why I haveset out a clear and ambitious planfor the
negotiations ahead. It is a plan for a new deep and special partnership
between Britain and the European Union.A partnership of values. A
partnership of interests. A partnership based on co-operation in areas
such as security and economic affairs. Anda partnership that works in
the best interests of the United Kingdom, the European Union and the
We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are guided
by outcomes, not ideologies. We have a policy of principled realism,
rooted in shared goal, interests, and values. That realism forces us to
confront the question facing every leader and nation in this room, it is
a question we cannot escape or avoid. We will slide down the path of
complacency, numb to the challenges, threats, and even wars that we
face, or do we have enough strength and pride to confront those dangers
today so that our citizens can enjoy peace and prosperity tomorrow.
Because perhaps now more than ever, the world needs
theliberal,democraticvalues of Europe – values that this United
Kingdom shares. And that is why, while we are leaving the institutions
of the European Union, we are not leaving Europe.We will remain a close
friend and ally.We will be a committed partner[忠诚的伴儿]. We will
play our part to ensure that Europe is able toproject its
valuesanddefend itself from security
threats[维护自个儿免受安全勒迫]. And we will do all that we can to help
the European Union prosper and succeed.
If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of
history, then we must fulfill our sovereign duties to the people we
faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests and
their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to
the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for
borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these
So Mr Speaker, in the letter that has been delivered toPresident
Tusktoday – copies of which I have placed in the library of the House
– I have been clear that the deep and special partnership we seek is
inthe best interests ofthe United Kingdom and of the European Union
And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together
and confront together those who threatens us with chaos, turmoil, and
terror. The score of our planet today is small regimes that violate
every principle that the United Nations is based. They respect neither
their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the
righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.
When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces
of destruction only gather power and strength.
Thank you, Madame Chair,
I have been clear that we will work constructively – in a spirit of
sincereco-operation– to bring this partnership into being. And I have
been clear that we should seek to agree the terms of this future
partnership alongside those of our withdrawal, within the next 2 years.
No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being
of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is
responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans. And
for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless
more. We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent
American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America, only
to die a few days later.
It is great to see the USTR colleagues in Geneva. It brings me back the
memories of the years of China’s accession negotiations to the WTO. The
limited knowledge of the WTO I had at that time, about half of it came
from the books, and another half came from the US colleagues who were
our counterparts in the accession negotiations. I remember one of the
USTR colleagues told me proudly that “the GATT and WTO rules are in our
blood”. Indeed, establishment of the WTO rules and development of the
multilateral trading system to a large extent owes much to our
colleagues from the United States。
I am ambitious for Britain. And the objectives I have set out for these
negotiations remain. We will deliver certainty wherever possible so that
business, the public sector and everybody else has as much clarity as we
can provide as we move through the process. It is why, tomorrow, we will
publish aWhite Paperconfirming our plans to convert the ‘acquis’
into British law, so that everyone will know where they stand.
We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother, using banned
nerve agents in an international airport. We know it kidnapped a sweet
13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country, to enslave
her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies. If this is not twisted
enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and
ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of
human life. It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with
such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country
that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.
Just over a month ago, one of the legendary figures in the American
movie industry – Stan Lee – passed away. This is a great loss for all
fans of comic movies around the world. Stan Lee co-created many
superheroes that we know, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, and
many others. My favourite is Spider-Man. What impressed me the most is
not Spider-Man’s superhuman abilities, but rather this line from the
movie: “With great power comes great responsibility”. And Spider-Man
certainly lived up to that。
And it is why I have been clear that the government will put the final
deal that is agreed between the UK and the EU to a vote in bothHouses
of Parliamentbefore itcomes into force. We will take control of our
own laws and bring an end to the新葡京官网入口，jurisdictionof the European Court
of Justice in Britain. Leaving the European Union will mean that our
laws will be made
inWestminster,Edinburgh,CardiffandBelfast. And those
laws will be interpreted by judges not inLuxembourg, but in courts
across this country.
No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm
itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great
strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its
allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.
Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The
United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not
be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about. That’s what
the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.
This power and responsibility equation applies not only to the
superheroes, but also to us as human beings and countries. Stan Lee
passed away and took Spider-Man away. It is also unfortunate that we are
seeing, since the last trade policy review, especially during the last
year, a different America with severe mis-matched power and
responsibility. An America that:
It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its
only acceptable future. The United Nations Security Council recently
held two unanimous 15-0 votes adopting hard-hitting resolutions against
North Korea, and I want to thank China and Russia for joining the vote
to impose sanctions, along with all of the other members of the Security
Council. Thank you to all involved. But we must do much more.