Delegates came away from the 2018 Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham in buoyant mood. This year's theme was Opportunity.
OUR FUTURE IS IN OUR HANDS
- This was an optimistic speech: when we come together, there is no limit to what we can achieve.
- The Prime Minister said we need to come together on Brexit, or risk no Brexit at all. We can reach a deal that delivers for the British people – who aren’t interested in debates about the theory of Brexit but need it to work in practice.
- She said Labour has become the ‘Jeremy Corbyn Party’ – which rejects the common values that once bridged our political divide. That’s why we need to be a Party for the whole country.
- Labour are only offering bogus solutions that will hurt the very people they claim to help. However, the after-effects of the crash are still being felt. We should be proud of our record but not blind to the challenges ahead.
- She identified four key challenges, and the action we need to take:
- Some markets are not working for people and we need to fix them so they do. So as part of fixing the housing market, we will remove the cap on how much local councils can borrow to get them building homes again.
- We need to do more to help people with the cost of living – so we will freeze fuel duty again.
- The deficit is down and because of people’s sacrifices better days are ahead. So at the Spending Review next year, debt as a share of the economy will continue to go down, support for public services will go up. A decade after the financial crash, people need to know that the austerity it led to is over.
- Our economy is growing but some communities have been left behind. So we need to get the whole country ready for the economic change that is coming with our Modern Industrial Strategy.
- This is a moment of opportunity. Motivated by our enduring principles of security, freedom and opportunity – we can offer the decent, moderate, patriotic government this country needs.
Coming together in the national interest
On Brexit, it is time to come together and act in the national interest. Our proposal takes back control of our borders, laws and money. It is good for jobs, good for the Union and delivers on the referendum.
But there are people in British politics who plan to hold a second referendum. They call it a ‘People’s vote’ – but we had that in 2016. This would be a ‘politicians’ vote’ – politicians telling the people they got it wrong the first time and should try again. That would do lasting damage to faith in democracy.
If we all go off in different directions in pursuit of our own visions of the perfect Brexit, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all.
The Jeremy Corbyn Party
Labour has changed – it is now the ‘Jeremy Corbyn Party.’ The Jeremy Corbyn Party rejects the common values that once bridged our political divide. What has befallen Labour is a national tragedy. When you look at what Corbyn has done to the Labour Party it is clear it is our duty not to let him do it to our country.
A Party that works for the whole country
To do that, we must be a Party for the whole country, motivated by our enduring principles of security, freedom and opportunity.
No institution embodies those values more than our National Health Service. That is why we will give the NHS its biggest cash boost in history: an extra £394 million every week to fund a long-term plan. Part of that will go on a new Cancer Strategy to speed up diagnosis and save lives.
An economy that works for everyone
Our mission as Conservatives must be to show people that we can build an economy and country that truly work for everyone. The after-effects of the 2008 crash are still being felt. Labour’s response to these legitimate concerns are bogus solutions that would hurt the people they claim to help.
We should be proud of our record but not blind to the challenges that remain. There are four key challenges we need to address to build an economy that works for everyone:
- Some markets are still not working in the interests of ordinary people
The Prime Minister thanked everyone who has started a business and offered someone a job – an act of public service as noble as any other. We believe in business and will always back them. But where markets don’t work for people we will fix them.
That’s why we are giving workers a stronger voice in the boardroom, giving people stronger rights in the gig economy, and capped rip off energy bills.
Where consumer markets are charging their customers a loyalty penalty – we will take action. We have announced a fundamental review of the railways.
We cannot make the case for capitalism if ordinary working people have no chance of owning capital. So as part of fixing the housing market, we will remove the cap on how much local councils can borrow against their assets to get them building again.
- Employment is up, but too many people haven’t had a decent pay rise
To help people with the cost of living, we have introduced a National Living Wage, cut income tax, extended free childcare.
We will now freeze fuel duty again – because for millions of people a car is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
- The deficit is down, but achieving that has been painful
Our national debt is beginning its first sustained fall for a generation – but this wasn’t easy for people.
Because of the British people’s sacrifices, there are better days ahead. So, when we’ve secured a good Brexit deal for Britain, at the Spending Review next year we will set out our approach for the future. Debt as a share of the economy will go down and support for public services will go up.
A decade after the financial crash, people need to know that the austerity it caused is over, and that their hard work has paid off.
- And our economy is growing, but some communities have been left behind
At times of change in the past the benefits have not been evenly spread. Our Modern Industrial Strategy will help the whole country get ready for the economic change that is coming.
That is why we are increasing public investment, driving up research funding, investing in our workforce and keeping standards high in school.
A moment of opportunity
This is a moment of opportunity to reach out to the millions of working people who are ready for a Conservative Party that puts their interests first. When we come together, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Our future is in our hands.
Announcements in the speech
- In the Budget later this month, the chancellor will freeze fuel duty again – money in the pockets of hard-working people from a Conservative Government that is on their side.
- A new Cancer Strategy as part of our long-term plan for the NHS, speeding up diagnosis and saving lives.
- We will scrap the cap on how much local authorities can borrow against their assets to fund new developments, getting them building again.
WATCH THE SPEECH HERE