tv British Prime Minister Theresa May Addresses Congressional Republicans CSPAN January 26, 2017 9:36pm-10:13pm EST
[applause] mike pence: thank you. [applause] on friday in washington dc, the annual march for life rally. speakers include vice president pence, kellyanne conway, special advisor to donald trump, members of congress. live coverage at noon eastern on c-span. british prime minister theresa may is in washington for meetings with president trump. she spoke to members of the republican congressional retreat calling for renewed relations
between the u.s. and the u.k. her remarks are 35 minutes. [applause] minister, theresa may. [applause] cathy rodgers: nearly every day as we walked to vote for meetings in the capital, we passed by one of america's greatest wrens in that small -- friends in a small rotunda we call freedom lawyer. former british prime minister winston churchill. and on his statue it reads, on -- in the days to come, the british and american people will
for their own safety and the good of all walk together side-by-side in majesty, in justice, and in peace. prime minister may joins us this afternoon at a time of renewed opportunity or both the united states and the united kingdom in continuing to walk side-by-side. her decision to visit america soon after our presidential election and the republican-led signalent took power to her commitment to strengthen the special relationship our countries enjoy. it is my honor to welcome from number 10 downing street, the first foreign head of state to visit and address our retreat, the honorable theresa may. [applause] [cheers]
theresa may: thank you. [applause] thank you.: thank you. well, thank you very much for that fantastic welcome. and can i say majority leader mcconnell, mr. speaker, distinguished members of the senate and representatives of the house, i would like to thank congress and the congressional institute for the invitation to be here today. the opportunity to visit the united states is always special. and to be invited to be the first serving head of government to address this important conference is an honor indeed. i defy any person to travel to this great country at any time and not to be inspired by its promise and its example.
for more than two centuries, the very idea of america, drawn from history and given written form in a small hole not far from here has lit up the world. , that idea, that all are created equal and that all are born free, has never been surpassed in the long history of political thought. [applause] theresa may: and it is here on the streets and in the halls of this great city of philadelphia that the founding fathers first set it down. that the textbook of freedom was written. and that this great nation that grew from sea to shining sea was born. since that day, it has been america's destiny to bear the
leadership of the free world and to carry that heavy responsibility on its shoulders. but my country, the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland, has been proud to share that burden and to walk alongside you at every stage. [applause] [cheers] theresa may: for the past century, britain and america and the unique and special relationship that exists between us, have taken the idea conceived by those 56 rank and
file ordinary citizens, as president reagan called them, forward. and because we have done so time , and again it is the relationship between us that has defined the modern world. 100 years ago this april, it was your intervention in the first world war that helped britain, france, our friends in the commonwealth, and other allies to maintain freedom in europe. [applause] theresa may: a little more than 75 years ago, you responded to the japanese attack on pearl harbor by joining britain in the second world war and defeating fascism, not just in the pacific, but in africa and europe too. [applause] theresa may: and later in the aftermath of these wars, our two countries led the west through the cold war, confronting
communism and ultimately defeating it, not just through military might, but by winning the war of ideas and by proving that open, liberal, democratic societies will always defeat those that are close, corrosive, and cruel. [applause] theresa may: but the leadership provided by our two countries through the special relationship has done more to win wars and overcome adversity, it made the modern world. the institutions upon which that world relies were so often conceived or inspired by our two nations working together. the united nations, in need of reform but vital still, has its foundation in the special relationship. from the original declaration of thejames' palace to
declaration in washington and drafted themselves by winston churchill and president franklin d. roosevelt. the world bank and international monetary fundm born in the post -- monetary fund, born in the post world war world, but conceded by our two nations working together. and nato, the cornerstone of the west's defense, was established on the bonds of trust and mutual interest that exist between us. some of these organizations are in need of reform. and renewal to make them relevant to our needs today. but we should be proud of the role that are two nations working in partnership played in bringing them into being and bringing peace and prosperity to the people of the world as a result. [applause] theresa may: because it is through our actions over many years, working together to
defeat evil or to open up the world, that we have been able to fulfill the promise of those who first spoke of the special nature of the relationship between us. the promise of freedom, liberty, and the rights of man. we must never cease, churchill said, to proclaim in fearless towns -- tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man, which are the joint inheritance of the english speaking world, and which, through magna carta, the bill of rights, habeas corpus, trial by jury, and the english common law, finds their most famous expression in the american declaration of independence. [applause] theresa may: so it is my honor and privilege to stand before you today in this great city of philadelphia to proclaim them
again, to join hands as we pick up that mantle of leadership once more, to renew our special relationship, and to recommit ourselves to the responsibility of leadership in the modern world. and it is my honor and privilege to do so at this time, as dawn breaks on a new era of american renewal. i speak you not just as prime minister of the united kingdom, but as a fellow conservative who believes in the same principles that underpin the agenda of your party. the value of liberty, the dignity of work, the principles of nationhood, family, economic prudence, patriotism, and putting power in the hands of the people. principles instilled in me from a young age. principles my parents taught me in the vicarage in southern england in which i was raised.
and i know it is these principles that you have put at the heart of your plan for government, and your victory in these elections gives you the opportunity to put them at the heart of this new era of american renewal. president trump's victory, achieved in defiance of all of the pundits and the polls, and rooted not in the corridors of washington, but in the hopes and aspirations of working men and women across this land, you're part of his victory in both the congress and the senate where , you swept all before you, secured with great effort and achieved with an important message of national renewal. and because of this, because of what you have done together, because of that great victory, you have one. america can be stronger, greater, and more confident in the years ahead. [applause]
theresa may: and a newly emboldened, confident america is good for the world. an america that is strong and prosperous at home is a nation that can lead abroad. but you cannot and should not do so alone. is time said that it for others to step up, and i agree. sovereign countries cannot outsource their security and prosperity to america. and they should not undermine the alliances that keep us strong by failing to step up and play their part. this is something -- [applause] theresa may: this is something britain has always understood. it is why britain is the only country in the g 20 other than yours to meet its commitments to spend 2% of gdp on defense and to invest 20% of that in
upgrading equipment. it is why -- [applause] theresa may: it is why britain is the only country in that g 20 -- in the g 20 to spend more than 7% of income on overseas development. it is why my act as prime minister last year was to lead the debate in parliament for britain's nuclear deterrence, and it is why the government i lead would increase spending on defense and every year of parliament. it is why -- [applause] theresa may: it is why britain is a leading member, alongside the united states, of the coalition working successfully to defeat daesh, why we have agreed to send 800 troops to estonia and poland as part of nato's foreign presence in eastern europe. while we are increasing troops to nato's resolution support group that supports the afghan
government from terrorism. and it is why we are reinforcing our commitment to peacekeeping operations in kosovo, south sudan, and somalia. and it is why britain is leading the way in pioneering international efforts to crack down on modern slavery. one of the great scourges of our world, wherever it is found. and i hope you will -- [applause] theresa may: i hope you will join us in that cause. and i commend senator corker for his work in this field. and it is good to have met him here today. as americans know, the united kingdom is by instinct and history a great global nation that recognizes its responsibilities to the world. and as we end our membership of the european union, as the british people voted with determination and quiet resolve to do last year, we have the opportunity to reassert our belief in a confident,
sovereign, and global britain, ready to build relationships with old friends and new allies. we will build a new partnership with our friends in europe. we are not turning our back on them or the interests and values that we share. it remains overwhelmingly in our interests and those of the wider world the e.u. should succeed. we will do our part. but we have chosen a different future for our country. a future that sees us restore our parliamentary sovereignty and national self-determination. and to become even more global. [applause] theresa may: and to become even
more global and internationalist in action and in spirit. a future that sees us take back control of the things that matter to us, things like our national borders and immigration policy, and the way we interpret our own laws so we are able to shape a better, more prosperous future for the working men and women of britain. a future that sees us step up with confidence to a new, even more internationalist role, where we meet our responsibilities to friends and allies, champion the cooperation -- international cooperation and partnerships that projects our values around the world. and continue to act as one of the strongest and most forceful advocates for business, free markets, and free trade anywhere around the globe. this is a vision of a future that my country can unite around , and that i hope your country, as our closest friend and ally, can welcome and support.
so, as we rediscover our confidence together. as you renew your nation, as we renew hours, we have the opportunity, indeed the responsibility to renew the special relationship to this new age. we have the opportunity to lead together again. because the world is passing through a period of change, and in response to that change, we can either be passive bystanders, or take the opportunity once more to lead and to lead together. i believe it is in our national interest to do so. because the world is increasingly marked by instability and threats that risk undermining our way of life and the very things that we hold dear. the end of the cold war did not give rise to a new world order, it did not herald the end of
history. it did not lead to a new age of peace, prosperity and predictability and world affairs. for some, the citizens of central and eastern europe in particular, it brought new freedom. but across the world, ancient, ethnic, national, and religious rivalries, rivalries that had been frozen through the decades of the cold war, returned. new enemies of the west and our values, in particular in the form of radical islamists, have emerged. and countries -- countries with little tradition of democracy, liberty, and human rights, notably china and russia, have grown more assertive in world affairs. the rise of the asian economy, china, yes, but democratic allies like india too, is hugely welcome. billions are being lifted out of poverty, and new markets or industries are opening up.
but these events, coming as they have at the same time as the financial crisis and its fallout, as well as a loss of confidence in the west following 9/11 and difficult military interventions in iraq and afghanistan have led many to fear that in this century we will experience the eclipse of the west. but there is nothing inevitable about that. other countries may grow stronger. big populist countries may grow richer. and as they do so, they may start to embrace more fully our values of democracy and liberty. but even if they do not, our interests will remain. our values will endure. the need to defend them and project them will be as important as ever. so we, our two countries together, have a responsibility to lead. because when others step up as we step back, it is bad for
america, for britain, and the world. [applause] theresa may: of britain and -- theresa may: it is in our interest, those of britain and america together, to stand strong together and defend our values, interests, and the very ideas in which we believe. this cannot mean a return to the failed policies of the past. the days of britain and america intervening in sovereign countries in attempt to remake the world in our own image are over. but nor can we afford to stand idly by when the threat is real , and when it is in our own interest to intervene. we must be strong, smart, and hardheaded. and we must demonstrate the resolve necessary to stand up for our interests. and whether it is the security of israel and the middle east, or the baltic states in eastern
europe, we must always stand up for our friends and allies in democratic countries that find themselves in tough neighborhoods too. [applause] theresa may: we each have different political traditions. we will sometimes pursue different domestic policies, and there may be occasions on which we disagree. but the common values and interests that bring us together are hugely powerful, and, as your foremost friend and ally, we support many of the priorities your government has laid out for america's engagement with the world. it is why i join you in your determination to take on and defeat daesh and the ideology of islamist extremism that inspires
them and many other terrorist groups in the world today. it is in both of our interests to do so. it will require us to use the intelligence provided by the finest security agencies in the world, and it will require the use of military might. but it also demands a wider effort, because one of the lessons of fighting terrorism in yeslast 15 years or so is, killing terrorists can save , innocent lives, but until we kill the idea that drives them, the ideology, we will always have to live with this threat. [applause] theresa may: as they are defeated on the ground, the terrorists are exploiting the internet and social media to spread this ideology that is preying on vulnerable citizens in our countries, inspiring them
to commit acts of terror in our own cities. that is why the u.k. has led the world in developing a strategy for preventing violent extremism and why the british and american governments are working together to take on and defeat the ideology of islamist extremism. i look forward to working with the president and his administration to step up our efforts still further in order to defeat this evil ideology. but of we should be careful to distinguish between this extreme ideology and the peaceful religion of islam and hundreds of millions of adherence, including millions of our own citizens, and those further of field who are so often the first victims of this ideology's terror. nor is it enough to focus on violent extremism. we need to address the spectrum of extremism, starting with the bigotry and hatred that can turn
to violence. yet ultimately to defeat daesh, we must employ all of the diplomatic means at our disposal. that means working to secure a political solution in syria, and challenging the alliance of the syrian regime and its backers in toronto -- tehran. when it comes to russia, it is wise to turn to the example of president reagan, who used to abide by the adage trust, but verify. [applause] with president putin, my advice is to engage, but beware. [applause] there is nothing inevitable about conflict between russia
and the west and nothing unavoidable about retreating to the days of the cold war. we should engage with russia from a position of strength and build the relationship, systems, and processes that make cooperation more likely than conflict. and that, after the illegal annexation of crimea, gives assurance to russia's neighboring states and their security is not in question. we should not jeopardize the freedoms that pregnant -- president reagan and president thatcher brought to eastern europe. [applause] [applause]
in progress on this issue would help secure another priority. iran's presence in the middle east. efforts to against build to be mediterranean. the nuclear bill was -- itversial, but it has has seen iran remove 13,000 centrifuges and eliminate its enrichedits 28% uranium. that was vitally important for regional security, but the agreement must be carefully and rigorously policed and any breaches dealt with firmly and immediately. to deal with the threats of the modern world, we need to rebuild
confidence in the institutions upon which we all rely. in part, that means multi-national institutions, because we know that so many of the threats we face today global terrorism, climate change, organized crime, unprecedented mass movement of people do not respect national borders. so we must turn toward those institutions like the un and nato to encourage international and partnership and cooperation. those multinational institutions need to work for the countries that formed them and to serve the needs and interests of the people of those nations. they have no democratic mandate of their own, so i share the former agenda and believe by working together we can make those institutions more relevant and purposeful than they are today. i call on others, therefore, to join us in that effort and to ensure they step up and contribute, as they should. that is why i've encouraged
gutierrez to focus on the united nations on core functions of peace keeping, conflict prevention and resolution. i've raised with my fellow european leaders, the need to deliver on commitment to spend 2% of gdp on defense and 20% of their defense budget on equipment. it's also why i've raised with staltenburg, secretary general of nato need to make sure alliance is equipped to fight terrorism in cyber warfare as it is to fight more conventional forms of war. america's leadership in nato supported by britain must be the central element around which the alliance is built. alongside this continued commitment, i'm also clear that e.u. nations must similarly step
up to ensure this institution that provides the cornerstone of the western defense continues to be as effective as it can be. yet the most important institution is and should always be the nation's stage. strong nations form strong institutions. and they form the basis of the international partnerships and cooperation that brings stability to our world. nations, accountable to their populations, deriving as declaration of independence puts it, their just powers from the consent of the government, to join international organizations or not, they can choose to cooperate with others or not, choose to trade with others or not, which is why it's the countries of the european union wish to integrate further. my view is they should be free
to do so, because that is what they choose. but britain, as a sovereign nation, with the same values, but a different political and cultural history, has chosen to take a different path, because our history and culture is profoundly internationalist. we are european country and proud of our shared european heritage, but we are also a country that always looked beyond europe to the wider world. we have ties of family, kinship and history to countries like indian, pakistan, bangladesh, australia, canada, new zealand and countries across africa, pacific and caribbean. and of course, we have ties of kinship, language and culture to these united states, too. [applause] prime minister may: as churchill put it, we speak the same language, kneel at the same
altars, and to a large extent, pursue the same ideals. today increasingly we have strong economic commercial defense and political relationships, as well. i'm delighted that the new administration has made a trade agreement between our countries, one of the earliest priorities. [applause] prime minister may: a new trade deal between britain and america must work for both sides and serve both of our national interests. it must help to grow our respective economies and to provide the high skilled high paid jobs of the future for working people across america and across the u.k. and it must work for those who have too often felt left behind by the forces of globalization,
people of modest income, live living in relatively rich countries, like our own, who feel the global system of free market and free trade is simply not working for them in its current form. such a deal, allied to reforms we are making to our own economy to ensure wealth and opportunity is spread across our land, can demonstrate to those who feel locked out and left behind, free markets, free economies and free trade can deliver the brighter future they need and it can maintain, indeed it can build, support for the rules based international system on which the stability of our world continues to rely. the u.k.'s already america's fifth largest export destination. the market account for a fifth of global exports, export to the u.k. from the state of pennsylvania alone account for $2 billion a year. the u.k. is the largest --
somebody from pennsylvania. [laughter] prime minister may: the u.k. is largest market in the e.u. and third largest market for exporters here. america is largest single destination for u.k. investment and your companies are investing or expanding in the u.k. at rate of more than 10 projects a week. british companies employ people in every u.s. state from texas to vermont and the u.k./u.s. defense relationship is the broadest, deepest and most advanced of any two countries sharing military hardware and expertise. and of course, we have recently invested in the new f-35 strike aircraft for the new aircraft carriers that will secure our naval presence and increase our ability to project our power around the world for years to come. because of the strong economic
and commercial links, and our shared history and strength of our relationship, i look forward to pursuing talks with president trump and his new administration about a new u.k.-u.s. free-trade agreement in the coming months. it will take detailed work, but we welcome your openness to these discussions and hope we can make progress so the new global britain that emerges after brexit and better equipped to take its place comfortably in the world. prime minister may: such an agreement would see us taking that next step in the special relationship that exists between us, cementing and affirming one of the greatest forces for progress this world has ever known. 70 years ago in 1946, churchill proposed new phase in this relationship to win a cold war that many had not realized had
started. he describes how iron curtain had fallen from the baltic to the adriatic, covering the capitals of the ancient state of central and eastern europe. warsaw, berlin, prague, vienna, belgrade, and bucharest. home, those great cities, of culture and heritage live in freedom and peace, they to so because of the leadership of britain and america and of mrs. thatcher and president reagan. [applause] prime minister may: they to so ultimately because our ideas will always prevail. and they do so because when the world demands leadership, it is this alliance of values and interests, this special
relationship between two countries that is to borrow the words of another great american statesman, enters the arena with faces marred by dust and sweat strive valiantly and know the triumph of high achievement. as we renew the promise of our nations to make them stronger at home, in the words of president reagan, as the sleeping giant stirrers, so let us renew the relationship that can lead the world toward the promise of freedom and prosperity, marked out in parchment by those ordinary citizens 240 years ago. so that we may not be counted with a cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat, but with those who strife to do the deeds that will lead us to a better world.