The Centre for Policy Studies today publishes a landmark collection of essays by leading Conservative politicians to make the case for a stronger United Kingdom.
Following the 7th anniversary of the referendum on Scottish Independence, Andrew Bowie MP and the CPS, the country’s leading centre-right think tank, have brought together an all-star cast of Conservatives to highlight what the Union means to them and why they believe its continuation is of benefit to all its people.
‘Strength in Union’, which will be formally launched with an event on Sunday night at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, includes essays from each of the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as Lord Hague of Richmond, former Prime Minister Theresa May and a foreword from the Rt Hon Michael Gove.
The collection aims to show how important the Union is, even to those who may not live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, and why the Government is right to fight to keep the UK together.
Key themes to emerge are pride in the shared success, prosperity and innovation which have been possible because of the Union of our nations; how the United Kingdom’s broad shoulders and global reputation allow us to defend democracy and protect the most vulnerable both at home and abroad; how our international influence drives growth and investment in all parts of the UK; and the strength and integrity of our defence forces, a powerful reminder of what Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland can achieve side by side.
Contributors to the collection include:
The Rt Hon Lord Hague of Richmond- We Are Stronger Together on the World Stage
The Rt Hon Alister Jack MP - Union is Strength
The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis - Reconciling with Northern Ireland’s Past, Looking to Its Future
The Rt Hon Simon Hart - Leading the World into a Green Industrial Revolution
Andrew Bowie, Member of Parliament for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, said:
'This book has been a labour of love and I am delighted it has launched at an important time for the Conservatives. The heavyweight contributions from voices such as Michael Gove, Theresa May and Lord Hague show the utmost importance of our Union to the party.
'There are many different views within but I think there is one unifying thread throughout – that the Conservative Party must remain laser-focused on the many things which Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland have in common, against those who would divide us.
'These essays came together over the course of a pandemic that has shaped so much of our political discourse, and it has also shown far more unites us than divides, strengthening the need for a United Kingdom that makes the lives of ordinary people better.'
Robert Colvile, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said:
'From Vortigern and Merlin to data-sharing and vaccine development, this collection argues that we can build a brighter, better future out of our shared past – and that the advantages of working together are so much greater than the costs of splitting apart. It’s a privilege for all of us at the CPS to have been involved in this project.’
In his foreword, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP said:
'Perhaps the most important conclusion to draw from Andrew’s book is that the Union is a family of nations, and a nation of families. The relationships that have stood us in good stead for generations have also equipped us very well for the future.
'We should celebrate our vision of a prosperous, progressive and dynamic country that has adapted over time and will continue to do so. A country that champions the robust institutions like our great universities in which we take such pride, and which reflect the distinctive traditions from around the UK – but that also embraces diversity and change.
'Looking ahead, I believe the case for a United Kingdom grows stronger with every day that passes. And just as we tackled Covid-19 with a UK-wide approach, so we should work together to build back better – banking the progress we have made so far and building a sustainable, long-term economic recovery for the whole country over the next five years and beyond.’