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Macmillan Speech: The Conservative Vision


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Good afternoon.

When I was acclaimed to serve as Leader of the Conservative Party I was acclaimed by all wings of the party. This is a tremendous honour and a badge of personal pride, but it is also a responsibility. 

The Conservative Party came together after our defeat to Jeremy Corbyn because we recognise the unique dangers that his and McCrimmon’s brand of unadulterated hard-left socialism can cause. High taxes and high borrowing to fund ideological projects focused not on the benefit of the United Kingdom but on settling old scores from the 80s and 90s will not work. Now I will admit that I do not believe that we got everything right under the Coalition, we were faced with difficult choices, but we made those choices because the public elected us to. James McCrimmon is running from those same choices now, as he runs from the public every day.

If the Conservative Party are to return to office at the next election then we will need to learn the lessons of June. We must rebuild our party around the three cornerstones of Modern Britain: strong public services, paying down the deficit, and getting Brexit done.


The first cornerstone, building strong public services, does not mean flashing the nation’s credit card around and spending money we haven’t got digging the hole even faster. 

I am committed to our public services. The last Coalition did much to ensure that we get as much bang for our buck as possible. We created the Pupil Premium, ensuring that the children most in need get the most money for their education. We created Universal Credit simplifying a nebulous and unwieldy system down to a single cash benefit, ensuring you don’t need to be an accountant to get your entitlement. We protected NHS spending from austerity, rejecting the choice of Welsh Labour in cutting our NHS to balance the books.

Within the context of the last seven years the Conservative Party have delivered strong fundamentals across our public services. I want to do more. I want to deliver truly world beating public services not only through more funding but through further reform. 

I want the parent of every child to have a choice of excellent education for their children with empowered choice brought about from free schools, academies, and technical schools all working in tandem to ensure that children get the best outcomes. 

I want to fix the funding disparity at the heart of our GP services which perversely rewards GPs for becoming locum doctors rather than family doctors. Every family should have a GP to oversee long term care and wellbeing on a medical level.

Our public services are poised to achieve great outcomes for our society and with the right investment and the right reform a Conservative Government will deliver them.


The second cornerstone, paying down the deficit, facilitates strong public services. You can only have strong public services with strong public finances.

We have been told by the Labour Party that the only way to bring about an economic boom is to hike taxes on the rich and spend money everywhere else. Mr McCrimmon gave Her Majesty the Queen a speech with £100bn in unfunded spending commitments to this very aim, but you could tax every single person earning more than £150,000 every penny they earn on that additional money and you wouldn’t cover the cost, you wouldn’t even cover a quarter of it.

As I said, strong public services can only exist with strong public finances. It is the only way. Look at Greece. They built their public services on borrowing, and their public services came crashing down under brutal regimes of austerity when the bill came due.

As leader I will prioritise investment in key public services for the best outcomes. I will work with my friend, James Manning, the Shadow Chancellor to ensure that each and every commitment is paid for in full. There is no sense in borrowing now to build a better future for our children only to have that better future ripped out root and stem because we can no longer pay our bills.

Borrowing can only be to invest in onetime expenses, infrastructure such as road, rail, and runways. I am committed to ensuring that everyone, the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, feels the full benefit of that investment whether that’s in the Midlands with HS2, the South with East West Rail, or the north with Northern Powerhouse Rail, a Conservative Government I lead will invest in every corner of the United Kingdom so that every corner of the United Kingdom can invest in us.

Paying down the deficit is a moral imperative to protect future generations from the kind of choices that we had to make as a nation in 2010 but it does not mean a return to austerity We must ensure that the deficit falls in a way that protects the most vulnerable and does not choke investment, that is my mission as Leader of the Conservative Party.


The final cornerstone, getting Brexit done, requires us to enact the mandate of the British people - taking back control. We cannot allow ourselves to fall for Labour’s trap, leaving the EU in name only to crawl back into the Single Market and the Customs Union, giving control back to Brussels without having any say in our future.

I believe passionately that delivering Brexit relies upon taking back control of the three principle matters. We must take back control of our borders, we must take back control of our laws, and we must take back control of our trade. We wait to see whether Labour will do any of that, but with the absence of the Prime Minister and the great pains taken by West and Dodds to avoid saying anything concrete we can safely assume that it is not a priority.

Brexit is the defining opportunity of the decade. With it we can unleash our nation’s full potential. I am not interested in a Brexit race to the bottom which undermines our environmental protections, food standards, or labour laws. I am only interested in a Brexit which will enable us to bring about historic growth and potential for our people.

Any Brexit deal that the Conservative Party negotiates will have to pass these three tests:

  1. We take back control of our borders, laws, and trade, unleashing the full potential of Brexit and the United Kingdom - this one speaks for itself, we will leave the jurisdiction of the ECJ, the Single Market, and the Customs Union.
  2. The entire UK will be treated the same way at all times - under our obligations to the Belfast Agreement and to both communities in Northern Ireland we will not do anything to jeopardise the peace or the UK’s internal market.
  3. A deep and special connection between the United Kingdom and European Union will continue on matters of mutual interest - in areas of mutual interest such as environmental concerns and Europe’s security we will work with the European Union and other partners such as NATO to continue to pursue our mutual interests.

I'm confident that if we are called upon by the failures of the Prime Minister and his Government the Conservative Party will negotiate such a deal. No Deal is the absolute last resort only to be used in the event that we are forced to choose between upholding the people’s mandate or remaining in the European Union in perpetuity. It is not a desirable or a credible end goal in and of itself and should we exit without a deal it will only be because the EU have opted not to extend the negotiation period and will occur in the context of continuing negotiations with the European Union to strike a deal.


Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that this afternoon I have been able to enable you to see the real Dylan Macmillan. The Conservative Party that I lead is committed to the aims and goals that I have laid before you. We will invest in strong public services, we will protect strong public finances, and we will Get Brexit Done if we are called upon to answer to the failures of James McCrimmon and his absentee Government. The road back to power will not be an easy one but it is a road that this party is capable of walking together and I look forward to leading the charge from the front.

Arnold J. Appleby

MP for North Bedfordshire (1979-Present)
Shadow Foreign Secretary

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