The Week That Was

Conservative Way Forward is supporting the campaign
to Vote Leave and Take Control on June 23rd.




On June 23rd 2016, the British public will decide whether to remain a member of the European Union. Brexit: The Movie makes the case for Britain to LEAVE the EU.

Brexit: The Movie lays bare the nature of the European Union - and shows why millions of Brits are voting to leave it.

Brexit: The Movie blows apart the pro-EU propaganda, and makes the case for an independent, confident and outward-looking Britain.

You can watch Brexit: The Movie as a feature-length film, or topic by topic in bite-sized, shareable sections. 


This Week on the Forward! Blog

Oliver Cooper: The EU undermines everything that's made Europe great - Britain must Vote Leave

I cannot stand by as the continent and the country that I love are subsumed by such a threat to our core values.  I want all countries of Europe to be free to choose their own destiny.  And Britain, being an outward-looking, trade-oriented nation with links around the world, stands uniquely placed to make the first step and take back its freedom: to take leadership and leave the European Union on 23rd June.  I’ll be campaigning for Vote Leave to make sure we do.

Chris Rowell: Is it time to show solidarity with Venezuela?

When the day comes, we should call on our Government to support the reestablishment of Venezuela as a free and democratic nation, open to trade, and with increased living standards fuelled by the free market. As we wait for this to happen and the situation in Venezuela plays out like the final chapters of Atlas Shrugged, we can take comfort in the idea that amidst the nation’s crippling toilet paper shortage, the vast tomes of Marxist literature that inspired the Bolivarian Revolution may be put to some practical use. 

Bill Halson: Not Learning from Aesop

‘The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said, "I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin.”

So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair.

Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.’ 

The moral of Aesop’s fable is that brute force is less effective than friendly persuasion. Today’s Remain campaign cannot see this, and their campaign is entirely based on brute force.

Georgio Konstandi: The EU Question - The Choice is Yours

it has become increasingly difficult for pro-EUs to argue that the institution allows Britain to retain the sovereignty it once had. It simply takes it away. More importantly, any deal we vote into the EU Parliament come June 23rd may be voted down by unelected EU judges. MEPs have stated this explicitly to political magazines like The Week. 

Anthony Lines: “Remain” – for what?

We still have, it is true, our own Parliament and Government but about two-thirds of its time is spent interpreting the directives received from the Commission into our own law. (In the last 10 years some 100,000 “items” have been sent to us from Brussels!) That is the current position which will remain “in perpetuo” if we vote to “Remain” in the Union.

Five Must Reads

1. CONSERVATIVE HOME: Jeremy Hunt - Now the BMA has agreed the Junior Doctors contract, here are the next steps in NHS reform

On Wednesday we reached agreement with the BMA on the biggest changes to the new Junior Doctors contract for 17 years – including vital changes to help deliver a seven day NHS. It will be good for patients, but also for doctors who will see the maximum hours they can be asked to work capped and more flexible rostering to help those with family responsibilities. But these changes are only part of a broader programme of NHS reform as part of our ambition that NHS care should be the safest and highest quality available anywhere.

2. THE SPECTATOR: Christopher Snowdon - Cigarette packs: these absurd new rules will simply turn us into a nation of bootleggers

It is a reflection of the EU’s democratic deficit that smokers and vapers have only recently become aware of a Brussels directive that will directly affect them. 

The Tobacco Products Directive, which comes into force today, regulates tobacco and e-cigarette products down to the last detail. Packs of ten will be banned. Most e-cigarette advertising will be banned. High strength e-cigarette fluid will be banned. Large tank e-cigarette devices will be banned. In 2020, menthol cigarettes will be banned. As if that were not enough, the UK is gold-plating the directive today by introducing so-called plain packaging. 

3. THE TELEGRAPH: Jane Shilling - Midwives should support mothers, not take a stand on abortion

Beyond the point at which an infant is capable of surviving outside the womb, two lives are involved, as current law acknowledges. To decriminalise abortion entirely is not just hypocritical – a denial of the exhilaration and hope with which we greet the news of infant Nepalese earthquake survivors – but a betrayal of the distraught mothers who seek late abortion. 

4. CAPX: Andy Silvester - More needs to be done to get ex-prisoners back into work

There remains much to do, but the prize is significant. The UK has a massive skills shortage; IoD members rank it as one of the three major factors holding their businesses back. There are intense problems in the construction and hospitality industry, and years of ‘enforced college’ inside equip many ex-offenders with the skills they need to do just those jobs. Former inmates at Ford have gone on to be managers of gas fitting companies, ship repair welders, and international management consultants running their own small firms. The success stories are numerous.

5. ADAM SMITH INSTITUTE: Flora Laven-Morris - The Sun makes Beyoncé sweat

It’s completely understandable that when you hear of sweat shop workers getting paid pittance and working in grim conditions for exorbitantly long hours your immediate reaction would be the desire to protest with your purse and spend your money on clothes “truly ethical” in their manufacture. But that’s where you’d be wrong, it would be a terrible thing for you to do.  

Five Must Reads: EU Referendum  

1. CAPX: Matt Ridley - In the name of science, Britain must leave the EU

Science is a global activity. Every time you go to a lab you meet people who originated everywhere and anywhere, yet all speak the same language, by which I don’t mean English, I mean reason, I mean a love of evidence, a passion for truth. Britain’s been an especially welcoming country for scientists. Our labs are more diverse even than our premier league teams.

2. THE TELEGRAPH: Norman Tebbit - It's time for Britain to get off its knees – freedom awaits us outside the EU

In simple accounting budget terms, we will be better off because we pay into Brussels more than we get back. We could afford to finance everything at present funded from the EU and have money left over.

3. CONSERVATIVE HOME: Nadhim Zahawi - Leave is not about choosing ‘Little Britain’ – it’s about backing small businesses

The CBI are regularly mentioned when business opinion is discussed, and it grandly states that “British business wants the UK to remain in the European Union”. Oddly enough, the CBI was saying much the same about joining the Euro. At the start of the millennium they were telling Tony Blair they were ‘disappointed’ with his wait and see approach, and that he must get off the fence and campaign to join the currency. Even as late as 2010 the former President of the CBI, Sir Mike Rake, was saying that ‘the Euro is a great success, and in today’s global economy, the pound is no longer an important currency’. I think it’s fair to say that the CBI does not have the best record when it comes to considering the EU, which it has almost never seen fit to criticise.

4. INSTITUTE OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Ryan Bourne - Christine Lagarde is wrong: Here are four economic positives from Brexit

This referendum is ultimately a long-term decision that will determine whether Britain governs itself in a democratically accountable way. What you think the long-term impact of Brexit will be is therefore a judgement of the policy decisions we would make, given the options available, and how these will impact the only thing that matters in the long term – productivity growth. The IMF is no better placed to speculate on the choices we will make than a columnist like me. 

What’s clear is that, if we make good decisions, we can be better off. Here are four areas where we could improve our growth prospects by voting leave on 23 June.

5. CITY AM: John Hulsman - The decadence of Europe’s dismal elites is fuelling the populist surge across the EU

This failed elite, still intent on keeping its privileges despite its monumental policy blunders over both the euro and refugee crises, is increasingly and actively hated by large segments of European society, as youth unemployment numbers stay at depression-era levels and healthy sustained economic growth (use 2 per cent of GDP as a basic yardstick) simply has not returned. The future an entire generation was implicitly promised has disappeared, due to elite incompetence. If I were in this lost European generation, I suspect I would not be nearly so patient; I would be throwing bricks and I would know at who; the self-satisfied utterly useless elite, ‘la casta’ as Podemos rightly puts it, that had visited such devastation upon me.

Action Today 

Have something to say? We are always looking for contributions to our 'Forward!' blog. Please e-mail our Commissioning Editor, Theodora Dickinson, with any ideas for articles! 

Upcoming Events 

29th May: Campaign Day in Huntingdon!

As the EU referendum campaign hots up and the postal votes begin to be delivered, Conservative Way Forward will be taking the fight to John Major’s former constituency – Huntingdon – for an action-packed campaign day.

We will be meeting at Huntingdon train station (just an hour from King’s Cross, and 15 minutes from Peterborough) at 12pm on Sunday, and will have a quick sandwich lunch before heading out campaigning.

Accommodation is available for free on the Saturday and Sunday evening courtesy of a local activist.

Sign up here.


7th June: Brexit Breakfast!

Come and join CWF as we throw a 'Brexit Breakfast' hosted by leading Brexit campaigner, the Rt. Hon Dr Liam Fox MP. 

Tickets are just £15 so don't miss out on this one-off event taking place just a couple of weeks before Referendum Day. Places are limited and due to security restrictions, we will not be able to admit anyone who hasn't booked in advance.

Click here for more information and to book your ticket! 


24th June: 'Outcome Party’!

Come and join CWF together with the Alderley Edge Conservatives as we celebrate (or commiserate!) the end of the EU Referendum Campaign!  We will be throwing an 'Outcome Party' with special guest speaker, James Cleverly MP.  Tickets are just £45 and include dinner, drinks and live music.

Book your ticket here!

Hero of the Week 

Conservative Way Forward's 'Hero of the Week' is Boris Johnson, for winning the Spectator’s ‘President Erdogan Offensive Poetry’ competition.

This award is entirely anti-meritocratic. It is a wonderful thing that a British political leader has shown that Britain will not bow before the putative Caliph in Ankara. Erdogan may imprison his opponents in Turkey. Chancellor Merkel may imprison Erdogan’s critics in Germany. But in Britain we still live and breathe free. We need no foreign potentate to tell us what we may think or say. And we need no judge (especially no German judge) to instruct us over what we may find funny.

Read more here.