Transcript of Boris Johnson’s interview with broadcasters during Cornwall visit

PA Reporters
·6-min read

Here is a full transcript of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s interview with broadcasters during his visit to Cornwall.

– Question: (Inaudible)

Mr Johnson: “Well, we’re of course, we’re going to match all the funding that Cornwall got under the EU and here at Newquay Airport, you can see the investment we’re putting in for improving the apron and improving the infrastructure for the G7 summit, which is coming in in June.

“And that’ll be of lasting benefits to Cornwall of about £7.8 million we’re putting in, I think £92 million we’re putting in all together, I think we announced just last year for Cornwall.

“And of course, we will continue to fund all sorts of fantastic projects, from investing in the Cornish dairy industry to improving connectivity in Cornwall, improving the roads, investing in the whole of the greater South West. That’s what this Government is determined to do.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth, Cornwall
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth, Cornwall (Tom Nicholson/PA)

– Question: (Inaudible)

Mr Johnson: “Well, I’ve just mentioned that we’ve already committed to £92 million and then there’s the £7 million that we’re doing for this airport, a further £23 million for the Towns Fund, all sorts of stuff, the connected river cities fund, all sorts of things we’re doing for Cornwall, and we will continue to do more because we believe passionately in investing in infrastructure and in connectivity for the whole of the greater South West.

“And not only will we be investing in long-term infrastructure for this airport here in Newquay, but we’re going to make sure that there is a public service obligation so that Newquay Airport is properly connected, Cornwall is properly connected with London and other destinations.

“Indeed, Cornwall, thanks to this Government’s investment, is going to be connected to outer space because as you know this is one of the UK’s two spaceports, so, you know, there’s no limits to our ambition for Newquay and for Cornwall.”

– Question: (Inaudible)

Mr Johnson: “And that’s why we’re investing massively in Cornwall and in the greater South West in the ways that I’ve described.

“So we believe the £92 million, the £23 million that I’ve described, the £7.8 million just to this airport, part of a vision for Cornwall, but just a fraction of what we’re investing in the whole of the greater South West.”

– Question: (Inaudible)

Mr Johnson: “Yes, we’ve always been clear that all the EU funds, the Objective 1, (inaudible), all that stuff would be replaced with a pound for pound by, and more, from central government in the UK, of course.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson eats an ice cream during a visit to Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth, Cornwall
Prime Minister Boris Johnson eats an ice cream during a visit to Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth (Tom Nicholson/PA)

– Question: If it’s announced that under-30s do not receive the AZ (AstraZeneca) vaccine, how much will this set back the current road map?

Mr Johnson: “I think the crucial thing on this is to listen to what the scientists and the doctors, medical experts have to say. The MHRA is meeting the JCVI – the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation – they’ll be setting out the position and we will get on with rolling out the vaccine.

“And obviously we’ll follow very carefully what they have to say, I think everybody should listen carefully to what they have to say. So will we.

“But we’ll get on with rolling out the vaccine programme and to answer your question, absolutely directly, I don’t think that anything I have seen leads me to suppose that we will have to change the road map or deviate from the road map in any way.”

– Question: Given the increasing evidence of a link between AZ and blood clots, how do you reassure people that the AZ vaccine is safe (inaudible)?

Mr Johnson: “Well, I think, obviously, we believe it to be safe.

“But the crucial thing for everybody is to listen to what the scientists, the experts, the medical experts have to say later on today, they’ll be setting out the exact medical position, follow that advice, and that’s what the Government will be doing.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth, Cornwall
Boris Johnson during his visit to Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park (Tom Nicholson/PA)

“But we’ll be getting on with rolling out the vaccine programme. As you know, we’ve done I think three fifths of the adult population of this country now. And you know, you can really start to see some of the benefits of that in the, it’s pretty clear that the decline in the number of deaths, the decline in the number of hospitalisations, is being fuelled, is being assisted, the steepness of that decline is being helped by the rollout of the vaccines.

“And so it is very important for everybody to continue to get your jab when you’re asked to do it and get your second jab when you’re asked to come forward for your turn.”

– Question: Is there a risk it could be a disastrous moment for the UK’s vaccination programme if it turns out that the EU were right and you were wrong?

Mr Johnson: “Well, I think you really want to look at what the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and the JCVI have to say later on.”

– Question (summarised): On Covid certificates and whether they will apply from June 21 rather than earlier.

Mr Johnson: “It’s just very important for everybody to understand the priority is to vaccinate as many people as we can across the whole of the UK. That’s what we’re doing. It is going well, so far. And I thank people for coming forward to be vaccinated.

“We do believe it is building a defensive shield in our population against the virus. That’s pretty clear from the evidence, we’ve done getting on for 32 million jabs now, and many, many people have now had their second jab as well. So they have a very high degree of immunity. And that’s a great thing to see, and that’s the priority.

“You won’t need any kind of you know certificate from Monday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks with staff during a visit to Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth, Cornwall
The Prime Minister speaks with staff during a visit to Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park (Tom Nicholson/PA)

“I’m here in Cornwall, we’re going to be looking at the opening of the holiday lets sector, which will be opening up from Monday, as well as beer gardens, shops are going to be open and we’re going to be talking to some of the shopkeepers, nobody’s going to need any kind of you know, certificate to go into a shop – and the same applies to May 17, when we’re going to be opening restaurants, inside restaurants, inside pubs, all that if we can continue, as I hope we can, with the road map that we have set out. No plan for any kind of certificate there.

“But clearly, it is going to be responsible for any government to look at the possibility of making sure that we can continue to open up all sectors of the economy in a safe way down the rest of this year and, you know, we will look at all possibilities.

“But I have absolutely no doubt that we will continue with the road map that we set out in a safe and secure way, but nobody should think that there’s any need for certificates of any kind, either on April 12 or May 17.”