In response to the CPF consultation on Strengthening the UK, we received substantive submissions from 64 CPF groups, representing at least 539 members from 108 constituencies plus one Conservatives Abroad group. Of those who participated this time, one-in-four (26%) had not previously participated in CPF discussions. In addition, 3,133 members from across at least 582 constituencies responded to a follow-up survey conducted by email. Thank you to everybody who let us know their views.
Particular congratulations to the following CPF Groups, which submitted the most noteworthy submissions:
Broadland and Norwich
Grantham and Stamford
Salisbury and South Wiltshire
Esher and Walton
Isle of Wight
Below is a snapshot of the top themes raised by CPF groups. A more detailed collation of responses has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, the Party Chairmen and the CPF Chairman. As usual, we look forward to publishing a formal response to members’ ideas in due course.
Overview of Top Themes
“With a healthy and innovative economy, in which we all share the proceeds of growth, mixing [of young people] should occur naturally and there should be no need for social meddling.”
“We question how important strengthening ties across the UK is. It would seem to be a minor factor compared with strengthening ties within regions and pride in one’s country.”
“Learn lessons from the US where the concept of being American is reinforced daily from an early age.”
“The UK really needs a fully integrated public transport system across all types of transport.”
“The importance of a growing economy as fundamental to a fair and cohesive society cannot be understated.”
“Complete the Brexit process and shout its benefits loud.”
“Rather than yet more initiatives, we should be attempting to shore up and reverse the tide of negativity that is threatening the Union.”
“Strengthening the UK could best be achieved by increasing productivity and economic growth and closing the trade deficit.”
CPF Groups consider the top values of the UK to be:
freedom / liberty; fairness / fair play / fair; democracy; rule of law / law; tolerance; freedom of speech / free speech; respect / mutual respect; honesty; integrity
CPF Groups consider the top symbols of the UK to be:
The monarchy / royal family; the Queen; Union flag / Union Jack; Parliament / Houses of Parliament / Big Ben; English language; Armed Forces; Church; NHS; BBC; Commonwealth
CPF Groups consider the top advantages of the UK to be:
our common defence; security; common language; common currency; trade; single market; common history; common law; economy of scale; freedom of movement; Barnett formula; mutual support; shared history; NATO membership
There was a high level of support for each of the following proposals:
Work with Commonwealth countries to enable UK passport holders to work in Commonwealth countries and vice versa.
Cheap rail pass modelled on the inter-rail pass, allowing under-30s to travel across the UK in the summer.
There was also significant support for the ‘twinning’ of schools between UK nations and different environments such as city/rural.
One-in-four CPF Groups (23%) called for pressure on universities and teaching unions on “woke” culture.
Other top suggestions included:
Enable university students to have terms at other universities.
A food labelling scheme to include the Union flag plus the component nation flag.
Create a Financial Investment Review Board (like Australia) to identify UK exchange priorities and help focus University teaming / twinning arrangement.