Governor Abbott Celebrates Bond Between UK, Texas During Margaret Thatcher Centre Lecture In London

March 14, 2024 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today celebrated conservative, pro-economic growth values shared between the United Kingdom and Texas at The Margaret Thatcher Centre in London. Delivering the Seventh Ronald Reagan Lecture, the Governor's speech at The Margaret Thatcher Centre was one of several stops on the second day of his economic development trip to the United Kingdom.

"President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher both shared a love for freedom and opportunity, and the expansion of those principles is what brought me to London this week," said Governor Abbott. "Texas is fighting for the principles of Reaganism and Thatcherism: freedom, democracy, the rule of law, hard work, and patriotism. The United Kingdom and Texas must stand and fight for those principles in both of our countries. Working together, we will not leave our citizens undefended from dangerous ideologies and policies that threaten the liberty and prosperity we have worked so hard to achieve."

Photos and video of Governor Abbott and the Texas delegation's visit to London are available here.

Speaking in the evening at The Margaret Thatcher Centre at the invitation of The Margaret Thatcher Centre Chairman Retired Honorable Sir Conor Burns MP, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the U.S. for Regional Trade and Investment, the Governor was joined by First Lady Abbott, Secretary Nelson, the Governor’s Economic Development & Tourism Office Executive Director Adriana Cruz, and Texas Economic Development Corporation President & CEO Aaron Demerson.

Kicking off the day, Governor Abbott visited the site of the former Republic of Texas Embassy at 4 St. James Street in London. The former embassy is memorialized by a building plaque that reads: “Texas Legation. In this building was the legation for the ministers from the Republic of Texas to the Court of St. James 1842-1845. Erected by the Anglo-Texan Society.” 

In the morning, Governor Abbott also met with British Petroleum (BP) Executive Vice President William Lin and other members of the company's leadership team at BP international headquarters. During the meeting, the Governor touted Texas' position as a global energy leader and discussed ways BP and Texas can work together to encourage more energy trade and more job-creating business investments in the Lone Star State. Last summer, First Lady Cecilia Abbott and Secretary of State Jane Nelson visited BP's international headquarters during an economic development mission to the United Kingdom. In 2019, Governor Abbott delivered remarks at the grand re-opening of BP’s main building at its Westlake Campus in Houston, which had been damaged by flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

BP is a global energy company focused on reducing emissions, providing low-carbon solutions, improving products, and delivering high-value oil and gas production. With more than 110 years of experience in the energy sector and employees in 62 countries, BP’s U.S. headquarters are located in Houston. Home to more than 3,800 employees, it is the company’s largest employee base in the world.

The United Kingdom leads all nations for the number of foreign direct investment projects in Texas, and Texas is No.1 among the states for exports to the United Kingdom. In 2023, Texas trade with the United Kingdom totaled $18.2 billion, making them the state’s ninth-largest total trade partner. In the last decade, companies from the United Kingdom have invested $8.6 billion in capital investment through 326 projects in Texas, creating more than 18,200 Texas jobs.

The trip is sponsored and paid for by the Texas Economic Development Corporation, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization responsible for marketing and promoting Texas as a premier business location. Along with the Governor’s Economic Development & Tourism Office, these two organizations make up the cornerstone of Governor Abbott’s economic development agenda to build a bigger, better Texas.