"To deliver the Margaret Thatcher lecture is truly humbling for me” – Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo
On Wednesday 8 May, the Centre for Policy Studies was honoured to host the US Secretary of State, Michael R Pompeo, at Lancaster House to deliver the 2019 Margaret Thatcher Lecture – marking the 40th anniversary of Baroness Thatcher’s first election victory in 1979.
The Lecture, established in memory of our co-founder, was introduced by the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, the Foreign Secretary.
Lord Saatchi, the Chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies, also addressed the audience of senior dignitaries from both countries, including US Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson, Members of Parliament (including former Cabinet Members and party leaders), as well as the media.
In his speech - the full transcript of which is available here - the Secretary of State made clear his tremendous admiration for the United Kingdom and its Government. He also stressed his admiration for the founder of the CPS, Margaret Thatcher, describing the honour of delivering the lecture in her memory as ‘very humbling for me’. He also expressed his gratitude to the Foreign Secretary for the use of Lancaster House, a historic venue.
The speech emphasised the deep and special relationship between the two countries and described the economic cooperation between the two as ‘a model for the world to emulate’.
When discussing the future trading arrangements Secretary Pompeo was equally optimistic: ‘President Trump is eager for a new trading arrangement… we are ready to go’. He promised that Britain would be ‘first in line… not back of the queue’.
He also warned of the rising tide of antisemitism in both countries, saying ‘in a free society, a yarmulke should not be a scarlet letter. And hatred of the Jewish State is just as bad … anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism’.
However, he had strong words for the UK on issues including China and Iran, pointing out that the Chinese regime had been guilty of cyber-attacks against the UK and other nations in the past – comments reported prominently by media outlets from acrosstheworld.
Drawing his speech to a close, the Secretary of State emphasised the importance of future Anglo-American relations, stating that ‘America will remain a friend’ to Britain and the need to ‘recognise how special the relationship’ is. He concluded by stating ‘let us look forward with confidence’ to the continuation of this friendship for the ‘next 200 years’.
The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, in his introduction, said that the relationship between Britain and America is ‘woven into the very fabric of the offices’ that both he and the Secretary of State hold. Continuing on from this, the Foreign Secretary spoke about the joint ‘role that Britain and America play in the world’, ranging from ‘combatting Daesh’ to ‘taking military action to degrade chemical weapons’ and ‘exposing cyber attacks’.
Ending his speech, the Foreign Secretary spoke about how Margaret Thatcher and President Reagan ‘reshaped’ the world by ‘accelerating the downfall of communism’ freeing millions. This anecdote stressed the ‘enduring friendship’ between the two countries.
Lord Saatchi, chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies, described Margaret Thatcher’s creation of the CPS and how, from its premises, she had rewired conservatism. He also praised America’s intellectual self-confidence as the heartbeat of Western civilisation.
This was the first of two major events held by the CPS to mark the relationship between Britain and America – a relationship of vital importance to Lady Thatcher both politically and philosophically, and still utterly crucial to our country today.
On 25 June, we will be following the Secretary of State’s speech by making the issue the focus of our annual Margaret Thatcher Conference. It will be held at the iconic Guildhall in central London, in association with the City of London and The Daily Telegraph, focusing on the political, economic and diplomatic ties between our countries, and how they can be strengthened further.
In an atmosphere of turbulence on both sides of the Atlantic, what is the state of the political, economic and diplomatic ties between our countries? And how can they be strengthened further?
We already have an extraordinary line-up of speakers, including Ambassador Johnson, the Rt Hon Liam Fox, the Rt Hon George Osborne, Anne Applebaum, Niall Ferguson and many others.
To reserve your ticket for this stellar event, please visit our website. To discuss sponsorship opportunities, or if you would be interested in taking a table at the post-conference dinner (to be addressed by a senior Cabinet minister), please contact [email protected].